INTRODUCTION: Beirut suffered its worst day of bloodshed on sunday (31 May) since the 1976 civil war in the Lebanon.
GV & SV Beirut streets, smoke rising from shell burst (2 shots)
GV & SV Beirut skyline, smoke rising (2 shots)
SV & GV PAN Beirut skyline, smoke rising (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK SV Bloodstains on street, shoes and clothing (2 shots)
CU PULL BACK GV Badly injured man in hospital bed
CU Young boy in hospital bed
GV Injured girl with leg in plaster in hospital bed
GV PAN Various injured people in hospital
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Beirut suffered its worst day of bloodshed on sunday (31 May) since the 1976 civil war in the Lebanon. A shelling duel across the capital left 20 people and 250 wounded.
SYNOPSIS: The artillery battle between the Christian and Moslem sectors of the divided city was the first serious exchange for two weeks.
It lasted all day, easing by nightfall as a ceasefire came into effect. But sporadic shelling continued from both sides. Twelve people were killed and a hundred wounded in predominantly Moslem West Beirut. Eight died and fifty were injured in the Christian Eastern sector.
The security forces say that more than 750 people have been killed since fighting flared up again in Lebanon at the beginning of April -- 280 of them in May. The violence continued on Monday (1 June) when three children died in renewed artillery exchanges in an eastern suburb of Beirut, according to the radio of the right-wing Palangist Party.
Aside from the deaths and injuries, there was widespread damage to property in a city already battered from the fighting. Among those who died were several hit by a shell as they were sunbathing on the Riviera beach beside the Mediterranean. Many of those who survived the shelling were in serious condition in hospital.
Other communities in Lebanon -- and their occupants -- continued to suffer from the violence. Around Zahle, a predominantly Greek Catholic town, there was heavy firing between rightist militiamen and Syrian peacekeeping forces over the weekend which died down by Monday. But there was no sigh of an end to the siege of the town by the Syrians.