At Last, the Agony Is Over

After a weekend of frustration and delay, the hostages are freed

For the 39 American hostages, their anxious relatives in the U.S., and for officials in Washington, Damascus and Jerusalem, the weekend had sent emotions spiraling from hope to gloom and back again. The captives were on their way to freedom, the White House had announced before dawn on Saturday. But no. They were still in Beirut. The carefully crafted plan for their release had gone awry. Darkness fell in the war-torn city, and the hostages were once again split into groups and sent back to their beds in the secret hideaways of their Shi'ite Muslim guards from Lebanon's Amal militia. When...

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