Beirut suburbs closed off on grounds of security

The Lebanese Army sealed off a wide swath of Beirut's southern suburbs Thursday in search of what it called groups planning acts that threaten state security.

An Army communique did not identify the groups or indicate what kind of actions they were planning. Security sources said the Army detained 40 to 50 people in slum quarters that were controlled by Palestinian guerrillas and Lebanese leftist militias until the Israeli invasion last June. It was the first large-scale security sweep in Beirut by the Army in over two months.

Meanwhile, Israeli military sources said Israel has strengthened its forces in southern Lebanon after the discovery of Soviet-made Katyusha rockets in the area last week.

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