Saturday, October 29, 2005

Lebanon army tightens siege of Palestinian militants - Yahoo! News

Lebanon army tightens siege of Palestinian militants - Yahoo! News:

SULTAN YACOUB, Lebanon (AFP) - The Lebanese army tightened the noose around seven Palestinian militant bases close to the Syrian border after a militant leader said his men were holding six soldiers captive and the UN envoy called for action to disarm the fighters.

Officers said some 500 soldiers backed by 50 armoured cars were now deployed around the camps in the foothills of the Anti-Lebanon range that marks the border -- two operated by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and five by Fatah-Intifada.

Troops were seen manning checkpoints on all access roads to the bases and operating armoured patrols on the tracks linking PFLP-GC bases in Sultan Yacoub and Kfarazabad to those of Fatah-Intifada around Halwa, 15 kilometres (10 miles) away.

'We have cut off all the Palestinian bases' supply routes and the land links between them,' one Lebanese officer told AFP, asking not be identified.

'We have also deployed troops on eight dirt tracks used by the Palestinians to bring in men and material from
Syria.'

The immediate trigger for Wednesday's deployment around the bases was the murder of a surveyor working for the Lebanese military the previous day, which commanders blame on militants from Fatah-Intifada.

'We have irrefutable proof that the surveyor was killed by shots coming from a base operated by Fatah-Intifada, which is prevaricating and has yet to hand over the killers,' the officer said."

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