Christian right-wing forces who conquered the Moslem stronghold of Nabaa in eastern Beirut two weeks ago have been releasing some of their prisoners.
SVS PAN INTERIOR: captured Moslem soldiers on display (3 shots)
SVS EXTERIOR: Christian official announcing names of Moslem prisoners to be released. (3 shots)
SV: prisoners raising hands as names announced.
SV: Red Cross official and priest supervising release operation.
SV PAN: released prisoners marched off.
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Background: Christian right-wing forces who conquered the Moslem stronghold of Nabaa in eastern Beirut two weeks ago have been releasing some of their prisoners.
SYNOPSIS: Nabaa, like Tel Al-Zaatar, was one of the last Moslem strongholds in Christian-held eastern Beirut, which has been torn apart from the western sector in the 16-month-old civil war in Lebanon. On Saturday, the conquerors of Nabaa released 42 Lebanese, Syrians and Egyptians who surrendered when the camp fell. After nine days of close questioning about their involvement in the Nabaa fighting, it was decided they could join other inhabitants of the camp who were earlier released and allowed to return to their homes. The prisoners responded eagerly to the simple formality of the release - their names were called out, checked off, and they were allowed to walk away. The operation was supervised by a mission priest and International Red Cross officials. The priest gave some of them temporary shelter at his mission nearby before they set off home.
During the fighting in Nabaa the camp held about 3,000 refugees and 800 fighting men. Now that camp and its bigger neighbour, Tel Al-Zaatar, have fallen fighting between the opposing forces in Lebanon has moved to the mountains north of Beirut. The Christians, scenting a re-emergence as the strongest side, have taken the initiative -- and peace talks are being made difficult by their reluctance to settle while they are winning the war.