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Gunmen Kidnap American Priest From Car in Lebanon

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Associated Press

An American priest working with a Roman Catholic relief organization in Lebanon was kidnaped today by seven gunmen who pulled him from his car on a west Beirut street, police said.

The priest was identified as Lawrence Jenco, about 50, who worked at the Catholic Relief Services office here.

Police sources said Jenco was pulled from a chauffeur-driven car as he was en route to work at about 7:30 a.m.

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The sources, who declined to be identified, said seven men armed with automatic rifles participated in the abduction on a street that runs alongside the American University of Beirut campus in west Beirut, the predominantly Moslem sector of the city.

They said the kidnaping was reported to Lebanese authorities by the priest’s Lebanese driver.

Jenco, whose hometown was not immediately available, is the fifth American kidnaped or reported missing in west Beirut since February 1984, when Moslem and Druse militias seized control of the area from the Lebanese army.

The militias still dominate west Beirut, although the Lebanese army and police are nominally in charge.

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