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French contingent begins to withdraw from Beirut

Members of the 1,250-man French contingent to the multinational force in Beirut started withdrawing Sunday from the Lebanese capital, the French Defense Ministry announced. The spokesman said elements of the contingent boarded a chartered car ferry in Beirut port with about 30 vehicles.

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He gave no further details.

France's contingent is scheduled to be out of Beirut by March 31. The three other members of the force - the United States, Italy, and Britain - all withdrew their men last month.

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