Shells and rockets slammed into President Amin Gemayel’s palace outside Beirut today, badly damaging the building amid an upsurge of sectarian fighting in or around Lebanon’s three major cities that left 40 dead.
Officials said Gemayel was inside when several shells and rockets hit the elegant stone palace and its hilltop gardens after 9 a.m., but the president and his staff and guards were unharmed.
They said a room where Gemayel presides at Cabinet meetings, adjacent offices and the entrance were badly damaged.
Troops loyal to Gemayel defending the strategic Souq el Gharb salient above the palace fought artillery duels with Druze-led forces confronting them.
In the north, rival Muslim militias battled during the morning in Tripoli, Lebanon’s second largest city, while in the south Christians and Muslims fought near Sidon.