Middle East: It Is Very, Very Serious

Arafat talks about his troubles and his leadership

In Lebanon, the sword of violence always seems to be unsheathed and ready to strike. Two Israeli soldiers were killed last week when a bomb exploded as their truck rumbled along a highway in southern Lebanon. In downtown Beirut, Lebanese army soldiers battled Shi'ite Muslim militiamen after government police tried to evict Shi'ite squatters from an abandoned school. Seven people died, including two soldiers. In the Chouf Mountains southeast of Beirut, Druze villagers clashed with a Lebanese army patrol. The toll: two dead and 18 wounded. The last incident carried ominous implications since...

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