MIDDLE EAST: Perils of Peace Keeping

A U.N. officer's plaint: "Everyone's shooting at everyone

The 3,992 United Nations soldiers on duty in southern Lebanon were supposed to be peace keepers, controlling a buffer zone between the Palestinian guerrillas and the Israeli forces, which have now pulled back to a six-mile-wide belt just to the north of the border. But last week the largest of the U.N. contingents, the 1,223 French paratroopers under Colonel Jean-Germain Salvan, found themselves caught in the Middle East's bloody cycle of violence and revenge.

The incident began without warning when a French unit intercepted four...

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