The southern Lebanon town of Nabatiyeh has again suffered heavy shelling.
GV Street in Nabatiyeh, southern Lebanon
SV Heavy gun overlooking city
CU PULL TO SV Boy with heavy machinegun
GV Bomb-damaged buildings (3 shots)
SV Markets and people in street (3 shots)
SV ZOOM TO GV Road sign pointing to Beirut and nabatiyeh (2 shots)
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Background: The southern Lebanon town of Nabatiyeh has again suffered heavy shelling. Rightist militiamen, who are backed by Israel, shelled Palestinian and leftist positions in the town on Wednesday (6 February). The same day, the Lebanese government in Beirut decided to ask the army to take over security duties from the Syrian peace-keeping forces who were expected to withdraw soon from the capital.
SYNOPSIS: Nabatiyeh is among the most ravaged townships in the region, which has been shattered by years of warfare. One day in October last year, it was bombarded by more than two hundred mortar and tank shells, and raked by thousands of rounds of machinegun fire from rightist forces.
The battered town lies only twenty kilometres (12.5 miles) north-west of Naquora, which has been the headquarters of the six-thousand-strong United Nations peace-keeping force (UNIFIL) since March, 1978. Much territory in this area is controlled by right-wing militiamen commanded by Major Saad Haddad a defector from the regular Lebanese army. Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday (6 February) that the government has asked the Lebanese army, the Syrian force, and Lebanese internal security forces to draw up a plan for imposing the government's authority throughout the country. The government fears that the planned Syrian withdrawal from Beirut could bring new clashes between the rival militias.
Recent troop movements on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanon border have increased tensions, resulting in a number of artillery battles, such as the one at Nabatiyeh. Late in January, Israel and Syria accused each other of preparing an attack.