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House kills plan for exit from Beirut by March 1

The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to defeat a proposal to pull United States troops out of Lebanon by March 1, heeding warnings that passage of the amendment would send the wrong response to the terrorist bombing that killed 230 marines in Beirut. The vote was 274 to 153.

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Meanwhle, The chief of Lebanon's Shiite Muslim community, whose militiamen have traded gunfire with marines, has called on Washington to redeploy its troops from their current positions at Beirut airport and nearby areas in the south of the city.

The Lebanese leader, Nabih Berri, made the move in talks here with US Mideast envoy Richard Fairbanks, Monitor staff writer Ned Temko reports from Geneva. Both men are in Geneva in conjunction with the Lebanon reconciliation talks.

Mr. Berri said he also told Mr. Fairbanks that if such redeployment were not made, the Shiite leader would press for total withdrawal of the marines from Lebanon.

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