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Gunmen Seize 2 British Women in West Beirut

September 27, 1985|Associated Press

BEIRUT — Two British women were abducted at gunpoint outside their West Beirut apartment and forced into a waiting car that sped off into the streets of the war-torn capital, police said today.

The kidnaping of the women raised the number of Westerners abducted and missing in Lebanon to 13, including six Americans.

Elsewhere today, police said Syrian paratroopers were locked in gun battles with Palestine Liberation Organization-backed Muslim militiamen in the northern port of Tripoli, and police reported the discovery of 10 bullet-riddled bodies, including a father and three sons, in the southern part of the city.

Artillery and tank fire duels between Christian and Muslim irregulars in Beirut killed three combatants.

University Teacher

Police identified the kidnaped women as Amanda McGrath, 28, a teacher in the American University of Beirut's intensive English program, and Hazel Moss, 45, a former restaurant manager.

They were seen being forced into a car outside of their apartment by men armed with pistols and an AK-47 assault rifle Thursday, witnesses said.

A British Embassy spokesman said the embassy was in touch today with militia leaders and police. American University spokesman Radwan Mawlawi said he was also trying to gather information about the women's disappearance.

There was no indication who might have seized the women and no claim of responsibility. Six Americans, four Frenchmen and a Briton, all men, have been kidnaped since March, 1984, and are believed still held by their abductors.

Another American, the Rev. Benjamin Weir, was released by his captors almost two weeks ago.

In the only previous abduction of a Western woman, gunmen seized Danielle Perez, a secretary at the French Embassy's cultural section, along with her father, Marcel Carton, on March 22.

Perez was released after nine days, but her father, the embassy's protocol officer, is one of the Frenchmen still missing.

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