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Druze 'Volunteers' Head for Libya

September 27, 1987|United Press International

BEIRUT — Druze chieftain Walid Jumblatt plans to dispatch a second group of fighters to Libya to reinforce Col. Moammar Kadafi in his seven-year-old war against Chad, sources close to the militia said Saturday.

The sources said Jumblatt's Progressive Socialist Party sent a report to the Libyan Embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus about the fighting capabilities of 900 militiamen expected to depart for Libya soon.

The fighters, including artillerymen, received special training to fight in arid areas, according to the sources, who requested anonymity.

The sources said the "volunteers" will be paid from $1,200 to $2,300. In case of death, the fighter's family will be paid $50,000.

They said the fighters would travel soon for Libya via Syria with the assistance of the Libyan Embassy in Damascus. An initial group of 800 fighters left Lebanon for Libya last Sunday.

Jumblatt, who told reporters that Libya's assistance to his party is no secret, has said his support for Libya against Chad is part of the struggle against the "imperialist" powers of the United States and France.

The sources said the Libyan military command will deploy the Lebanese militiamen in frontier areas to back the Libyan troops in case of renewed fighting with Chad.

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