Peace Keepers with a Difference

A year after the ghastly massacre of hundreds of Palestinians, heavily armed men still prowl the shanty town of Shatila on the southern fringes of Beirut. But instead of the feared fatigue uniforms of Phalangist militiamen, they wear spiffy red-and-gold scarves emblazoned with the Venetian Lion of St. Mark, and their presence inspires comfort rather than terror. They are Italian marines who keep strict watch from a ring of sentry posts and constantly patrol streets that are now as safe as any in Lebanon.

Which, needless to say, is a long way from being completely safe. Random shells fired by gunners in...

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