News In Brief

French contingent begins to withdraw from Beirut

Members of the 1,250-man French contingent to the multinational force in Beirut started withdrawing Sunday from the Lebanese capital, the French Defense Ministry announced. The spokesman said elements of the contingent boarded a chartered car ferry in Beirut port with about 30 vehicles.

He gave no further details.

France's contingent is scheduled to be out of Beirut by March 31. The three other members of the force - the United States, Italy, and Britain - all withdrew their men last month.

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