Street-fighting between right and left-wing factions erupted again in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday (24 June) after a three-week lull since bitter clashes between the sides in April and May almost paralysed life in the capital for ten days.
GV Deserted streets and gunfire (2 shots)
GV School damaged in rocket attack
GV Armoured truck along road
GV Deserted street with gunfire out of vision (2 shots)
SV AND PULL BACK Armoured car along street
Initials CL/1712 CL/1725
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Background: Street-fighting between right and left-wing factions erupted again in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, on Tuesday (24 June) after a three-week lull since bitter clashes between the sides in April and May almost paralysed life in the capital for ten days.
The rival groups exchanged machine-gun, rocket and automatic fire in the adjoining southern suburbs of Shiyyah and Ain Al-Rummaneh -- one of the main areas of fighting during the earlier clashes that left at least 250 dead and hundreds injured. Two people were know to have died in Tuesday's violence. Sporadic firing and explosions continued into the night.
No precise information was available on who had been shooting at whom but armed teenagers in the green uniform of the right-wing Christian Falangist militia were on the streets of Ain Al-Rummaneh during the day.
The shooting broke out along a line dividing Ain Al-Rummaneh from Shiyyah -- which is dominated by the left-wing pro-Palestinians and Muslims -- apparently after a quarrel between some residents and two Iraqis over a girl.
The fresh violence has further complicated the task of Premier-designate Rashid Karami to form a new government. In the four weeks since the factional fighting toppled the government of Premier Rashid Al-Solh, which in turn led to a three-day military administration, Mr. Karami has been unable to reconcile the conflicting political demands of the polarised factions.
Tuesday's incidents came only one day after Lebanese President Suleiman Franjieh and Palestinian commando leader Yasser Arafat met for the first time since the troubles to try and agree on measures to avert further fighting.