News In Brief

Marine chief in Beirut tells of prior warnings

The US Marines were warned two weeks before Sunday's devastating bomb attack that there were ''new elements in town'' whose targets were US forces, the commander of the Marine contingent said Thursday.

''It is not uncommon, not only for us but for other members of the multinational (peacekeeping) force, to receive threats specifically directed at us,'' Col. Timothy Geraghty told reporters.

Meanwhile, hundreds of marines telephoned home Thursday to reassure their loved ones in the US they had survived the attack that killed at least 221 American servicemen.

About 300 newly arrived marines worked under a tight seal of security to reestablish their bombed headquarters. The state of alert at the Marine compound was reduced to Condition 2 for only the second time since Sunday. This meant the marines could venture out of their bunkers without their flak jackets, provided they were inside the main compound buildings.

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