News In Brief

Marines, French warned to quit Beirut in 10 days

The Islamic Jihad, believed to be a fundamentalist group with ties to Iran, claimed responsibility Thursday for Wednesday's truck bombing near a French base here and warned French troops and the US Marines to withdraw within 10 days.

An anonymous caller told a foreign news agency that his group would "cause a real earthquake" under the French and US troops unless they pulled out within the specified period.

Meanwhile in Washington, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger said the US was seeking additional nations to join the four-nation Beirut peacekeeping force, but without success. He would not name the countries that had rejected the request.

Asked about the safety of the US forces, Weinberger said that since the Oct. 23 bombing of Marine headquarters, new security steps had been taken including a strengthening of positions, dispersal of troops, and reconnaissance flights to monitor hostile forces in the area.

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