JUNIYAH, Lebanon — The dominant Christian militia organization of Lebanon has begun its own television station, joining a broadcast war among channels controlled by rival Christians and Muslims in the divided country.
The station, owned by the Lebanese Forces militia, began broadcasting Friday on three channels from a six-story studio in the port of Juniyah, 13 miles north of Beirut.
The first broadcast began with the announcement that "this station is for all the Lebanese of all sects and factions." Christians and Muslims alike in Beirut tuned in for the 2 1/2-hour broadcast of news, Lebanese shows, foreign comedy programs and movies.
There are three government-owned TV stations. Channel 7, in Muslim West Beirut, is controlled by supporters of Justice Minister Nabih Berri, leader of the Shia Muslim militia and a major foe of President Amin Gemayel, a Maronite Christian. Channel 9, in West Beirut, and Channel 5, in Christian East Beirut, are loyal to Gemayel.
Apart from government radio, at least seven illegal radio stations operate, owned by rival militias and political groups.