News In Brief

Tripoli cease-fire fails; Syria calls for dialogue

Fighting between supporters and opponents of PLO leader Yasser Arafat raged around this port city on the seventh day as a cease-fire declared for Wednesday afternoon failed to take hold.

Security sources in Tripoli said the cease-fire, arranged after Arab envoys visited Syrian President Hafez Hassad, failed as the rebels accused Arafat's men of shelling their frontline positions around nearby Baddawi refugee camp, Arafat's last stronghold in Lebanon. The Syrian-backed rebels said they wanted to enter the camp but that they had orders not to, in order to spare civilian lives. Already more than 200 people have been killed in the fighting.

Arafat was reported to be in Tripoli. Syria and Libya, the main backers of Palestinian rebels, agreed that Mr. Arafat should leave Tripoli, the Libyan news agency Jana reported.

It said President Assad and Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi discussed the fighting in Tripoli in a telephone conversation Tuesday, agreeing that Arafat should defend himself through dialogue within the context of a conference of Al-Fatah, the mainstream guerrilla group.

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