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US envoy in Beirut seeks troop pullout by year-end

US envoy Morris Draper met with Lebanese President Amin Gemayel Thursday at the start of a new round of talks intended to remove all foreign forces from Lebanon by year's end. Lebanese sources said he would first establish a Lebanese-Israeli committee to discuss the withdrawal.

UN forces searched Thursday for gunmen who ambushed a UN checkpoint in south Lebanon, killing three Irish soldiers. The gunmen drove up to a checkpoint and two occupants of the car sprayed the outpost with automatic weapons fire.

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Israel released a further 339 of the Palestinians it captured during its invasion of Lebanon. About 3,000 Palestinians have been released so far. About 6 ,000 are still being held. Israel has refused to recognize the Palestinians as prisoners of war under the Geneva Convention and has never made clear its plans for prisoners it finds guilty of guerrilla activities.

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