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29 Killed in PLO Factional Fighting

From Associated Press

Guerrillas loyal to PLO leader Yasser Arafat killed the local commander of a breakaway faction in house-to-house fighting Friday that left 28 other people dead and 52 wounded, police said.

The fighting began after the commander of Arafat’s Fatah guerrillas in Lebanon was kidnaped by a rival and beaten, Palestine Liberation Organization and police sources said.

After his release was won, the commander, identified by the PLO only as Col. Alaa, sought to punish the rebellious faction.

The fighting flared before dawn in hill villages east of Sidon and spread to a refugee camp near the port city of Tyre.

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Arafat loyalists later stormed the home of breakaway leader Abdel-Raouf Zaaroura, in Qrayya, east of Sidon. Zaaroura “was executed in line with orders to shoot him on sight,” said a PLO official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The battles eased after the assassination. Police and PLO officials said the dead included six civilians and eight of Arafat’s loyalists. Two hundred Zaaroura followers were captured, they said.

Sources at the PLO headquarters in Sidon said the fighting was between two wings of Fatah, the largest of the PLO’s nine factions.


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