News In Brief

Druze leader turns down Lebanese meeting spot

The Lebanese government named Beirut's airport Tuesday as the venue for Thursday's long-delayed reconciliation talks among Lebanon's nine warring factions. An aide to opposition Druze leader Walid Jumblatt immediately rejected the site, throwing the conference into doubt.

The announcement came as gunmen, who had earlier killed two US marines and wounded five, withdrew from the slum district flanking the US lines near the airport. In Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanese Army tanks blasted at grenade-firing militiamen. Security sources said two soldiers and two civilians were killed.

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