As 700 Palestinian military police joined Lebanese security forces in a new attempt to end factional fighting in Beirut on Friday (24 October) the country's Political Reform Sub-Committee was still hoping to resolve the crisis with possible political reform.
GV & SV Delegates leaving Government House in Beirut surrounded by newsmen (3 shots)
GV Armoured vehicles in street
GV & SV Soldiers in street (2 shots)
GV Soldiers behind sandbags PAN TO Empty streets (3 shots)
Initials CL/2215 CL/2230
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Background: As 700 Palestinian military police joined Lebanese security forces in a new attempt to end factional fighting in Beirut on Friday (24 October) the country's Political Reform Sub-Committee was still hoping to resolve the crisis with possible political reform.
When the sub-committee met at Government House in Beirut on Wednesday (22 October) neither Pierre Gemayel or Kamal Junblatt, who are political rivals, attended the meeting. Mr. Junblatt is an advocate of reform while Mr. Gemayel has called for a return to stability before reform can be discussed.
The situation is also being aggravated by what Lebanon's left-wing press says will be another political crisis provoked by an inevitable showdown between Premier Rashid Karami, a Moslem, and President Suleiman Franjieh, a Christian. The newspapers say that there are growing fears in Beirut that the predicted showdown could prolong factional strife as the two leaders' political allies resort to the gun to drive home their political views.
On Thursday (23 October) another 14 people were killed in Beirut as left and right-wing gunmen continued to shell each other in parts of the city and suburbs. Security forces were still searching for two Americans abducted from their car early the previous day. The missing men are the Director of the U.S. Information Agency Printing Press, Charles Gallagher and his assistant, William Dykes.
As the Beirut violence and economic paralysis entered its sixth week the state-run Beirut radio station announced a 24-hour curfew in some parts of the city. The city is already subject to a nine-hour night curfew in an effort to keep people in their homes and out of danger.