Middle East: Waite's Secret Mission

As a troubleshooter strives to free U.S. captives, a new hostage crisis erupts

Once again, Nehme Yafet Street in West Beirut was a battleground. Gunmen from rival Shi'ite Muslim and Druze militias crouched in doorways and fired bursts from automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades into the darkness. Four floors above the fierce firefight, Terry Waite, the special envoy of the Archbishop of Canterbury, was trapped with staff members of the Associated Press. A giant of a man, who stands 6 ft. 7 in. and weighs 258 lbs., the bearded Waite, 46, was in Beirut to seek the release of four of the American hostages held by Muslim extremists. As bullets chipped the walls of...

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