Tensions high in Lebanon as peace effort continues

While fighting was abating between Muslims and Christians in the mountains outside Beirut, anti-Israeli protests by Shiite Muslims brought new tension to southern Lebanon.

The violence came amid continuing efforts to get Syrian approval of the agreement reached between Israel and Lebanon on a withdrawal of foreign troops. Lebanese officials were expected on Tuesday to formally request the departure of the Syrians. For its part, the Palestine Liberation Organization rejected the withdrawal agreement, a spokesman said.

Syrian President Hafez Assad was in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Fahd. US officials have found encouragement in a statement by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Faisal that seemed to imply the Syrians should leave at Lebanon's request. Meanwhile, 87 wives and children of Soviet diplomats left Beirut unexpectedly for Moscow, diplomatic sources said. One possible explanation was that they were going on summer vacation.

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