Militant Falangists in Lebanon have pledged to rid their country of Palestinians and Syrians.
GV Falangist troops controlling traffic at roadblock in Beirut, Lebanon (4 shots)
SV Soldier on armoured vehicle
SV Soldier searching driver and passengers in car
SV Another driver being searched and soldier confiscating revolver
SV INTERIOR Captured hand guns on display
CU Automatic gun being removed from wooden holster and put on display
CU Pistols, ammunition, grenades on display
SV Automatic rifles
CU Packets of heroin and socks of hashish captured from opium den (3 shots)
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Background: Militant Falangists in Lebanon have pledged to rid their country of Palestinians and Syrians. In an interview on Friday (18 July) in the magazine Al-Hawadess, Falangist militia chief Bashir Gemayel said he planned what he called a "war of liberation". His comments came after his Falangist forces defeated the rival right-wing National Liberal Party (NLP) in a military strike which created a new balance of power in war_scarred and divided Lebanon.
SYNOPSIS: The Falangists in their fight against the NLP seized almost total control of Lebanon's Christian sectors. They try to make sure that control remains in their hands, with carefully staged shows of strength. Lebanon's Maronite Christians now appear closer than ever to establishing their own mini-state, further dividing the already-troubled country.
Falangist militia fighters attacked the NLP on 7 July. An estimated 300 people were killed. The surprise raid left Falangist militia chief Gemayel effective controller of the Christian sector of east Beirut and northern Lebanon. The NLP "Tigers" were crushed. In the aftermath of the fighting the Falangists set up roadblocks to strengthen their position. And those roadblocks have turned up a sizeable arsenal of weapons.
About two hundred firearms were confiscated in Beirut between 15 and 18 July alone. Most of the weapons are revolvers. but there are also heavier arms on display ... and a shipment of drugs intended for West Germany.
Following their victory, Falangist aides swiftly announced plans for the creation of a unified rightist militia and a separate police force. But the Falangists denied they had plans to set up their own state. A joint militia would have a potential strength of 40 thousand men, twice the size of Lebanon's regular army. With that fighting force, the Falangists could carry out their threat to drive the Palestinians and Syrians out of Lebanon.
Against that background, Lebanon's new Prime Minister Takieddine Solh consulted with political leaders on Monday (21 July). His idea is to bring Christian and Moslem factions into a government of national unity, in a bid to create a stable Lebanon.