2 embassies shut down in besieged west Beirut

The US and French embassies in besieged west Beirut closed their doors indefinitely Wednesday as the United States, Britain, and West Germany started to evacuate their nationals to safety from war-torn Lebanon.

US diplomats said a ship would take Americans to Cyprus Thursday.

West Beirut, controlled by Palestinian guerrillas and leftist militias, is anxiously trying to head off a final assualt by the Israeli forces that surround it.

The US and French missions both moved formally to Jounieh, which is controlled by right-wing Christian forces and has been relatively quiet.

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