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Army deployed in Beirut to replace rival militias

The Lebanese Army began deploying along the Green Line dividing Beirut Wednesday, security forces said. The action is part of a government peace plan under which it will replace warring militias.

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They said the Army had moved into the perimeters of Beirut's port and airport , both closed since Feb. 6. Muslim militiamen have clashed daily on the Green Line with Lebanese Army loyalists and Christian militiamen for the past five months.

Security sources said the deployment was proceeding smoothly, and no militia had challenged the Army takeover. The Green Line move was seen by observers as the most critical phase of the plan to disengage the combatants.

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