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US Embassy staff airlifted from Beirut to warships

Navy helicopters airlifted members of the US Embassy staff and their families to American warships Tuesday after the Lebanese Army surrendered west Beirut to Muslim rebels.

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The evacuation of 41 nonessential staff and family members was ordered after Muslim militiamen seized the government radio and television stations at the Ministry of Information.

The fighting had trapped many of the diplomats in the British Embassy, which has been used by the US mission since the American Embassy was bombed by terrorists.

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