BEIRUT — Two tanks firing from Muslim controlled hills east of Beirut slammed shells into the assembly yard of a police training academy Saturday, killing eight persons and wounding 31 others.
The Voice of Lebanon radio said the shells struck the academy, located on the Christian side of Beirut's "Green Line" battle zone, following a fierce mortar and artillery battle earlier in the day between Christian and Muslim militiamen along the five-mile line that has divided Beirut since 1975.
"The officers were training when fighting erupted and shells hit the academy," a police spokesman said.
The academy's commander, Col. Antoine Naser, called the attack a "brutal massacre." It was the second in two months aimed at the academy, which trains 300 security personnel at a time. In the first attack Oct. 8, two soldiers were killed in a barrage of shell fire.
Police officials said seven of the victims Saturday were policemen and one a civilian. They described the tanks as Soviet-made vehicles manned by the Druze Progressive Socialist Party militia.