New Lebanon government seeks sway in west Beirut

Prime Minister Chefik Wazzan rode into west Beirut at the head of a police convoy in the Lebanese government's first serious effort to take control of the Muslim half of its capital since the 1975-76 civil war. Armed militias have ruled the streets for the past eight years.

The Lebanese government's plan to consolidate its control in the battered capital was fraught with problems because of the power of the militias and the relative weakness of the security forces. The police convoy rolled into west Beirut one day after the last of 11,000 Palestian guerrillas and Syrian troops ended the US-negotiated pullout.

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