News In Brief

Reconciliation talks in Lebanon postponed

The Lebanese government Wednesday postponed the start of a national-reconciliation conference, scheduled for today, after almost half the politicians invited refused to meet at Beirut airport. State-run Beirut Radio quoted an official government announcement as saying the conference would start at an unspecified later date.

Among those refusing to attend were Druze leader Walid Jumblatt and former Prime Minister Rashid Karami, who said he thought Beirut airport was an unsafe site for talks. Mr. Jumblatt said he was still ''very keen'' to see a dialogue start at different site.

The Lebanese Army, meanwhile, was locked in some of the heaviest battles since the truce took effect, fighting mainly Druze insurgents in the hills outside Beirut.

Also, a car packed with explosives blew up while a US Marine patrol was driving past in the south of Beirut, injuring two marines, a US spokesman said.

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