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Arafat sees Reagan plan as progress for Mideast

Palestinian chief Yasser Arafat praised President Reagan's Middle East peace plan as a ''step forward'' in bringing peace to the region despite its failure to call for an independent Palestinian state.

Mr. Arafat's statements followed talks with King Hussein here on a possible Palestinian-Jordanian federation, and came as Israeli tanks and artillery battled Palestinian and Syrian forces, destroying a guerrilla outpost in the heaviest fighting in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley in 3 months.

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After a 24-hour suspension, the Lebanese Army resumed its hunt at dawn Wednesday for arms, ammunition, wanted criminals, and illegal residents in west Beirut.