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The World : Beirut Camps Siege Lifted

January 21, 1988

Shia Muslim militiamen lifted a nearly three-year-old siege of the Chatilla and Borj el Brajne camps in Beirut, home to an estimated 30,000 Palestinian refugees, and Syrian troops immediately rolled in to keep the peace. The so-called camps war between Lebanese Justice Minister Nabih Berri's Amal militia and Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization has killed more than 1,600 people and wounded 3,600, by Lebanese police count. Berri said Saturday that he was lifting the blockade as a gift to the "heroic" Palestinians who have been rioting against Israel's occupation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Dec. 8. Amal besieged the camps in May, 1985, to keep Arafat from rebuilding the Lebanon power base he lost in Israel's 1982 invasion.

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