Beirut — Lebanese President weighs challenge of Druze leader
Lebanese President Amin Gemayel held emergency meetings Sunday to discuss an announcement by Druze leader Walid Jumblatt of what appeared to be a Druze separatist government in the Shouf mountains near Beirut.
The Beirut press said Mr. Gemayel feared that Mr. Jumblatt's new ''Popular Committee for Civil Administration'' could lead to the partition of Lebanon. Druze officials said it was only a temporary administration similar to the one the Phalangists have maintained in the Shouf for two or three years.
Meanwhile, the Christian Phalangist militias Sunday handed over about 200 Muslim prisoners - Druze women and children - after almost a month in Phalangist custody. In Hammana, Lebanon, about 600 Lebanese Army soldiers, including 30 officers, said they had deserted the Army because they had been made into ''tools to tear up our country.''