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FIGHTING LEAVES 16 DEAD IN SOUTHERN LEBANON

SHARE FIGHTING LEAVES 16 DEAD IN SOUTHERN LEBANON

Warring Shiite Moslem militias fired howitzers and multibarreled rocket launchers in southern Lebanon on Saturday, and police said at least 16 combatants were killed and 42 wounded.

Ambulances, with sirens wailing, evacuated casualties from the battleground in the southern Apple Province to hospitals in Sidon. Security sources said many bodies could not be evacuated because of the intensity of the fighting.The Red Cross pleaded with fundamentalist pro-Iranian Hezbollah and the Syrian-backed Amal militia to abide by a four-hour "mercy cease-fire" Sunday to remove the casualties.

The Red Cross threatened to "immediately withdraw from the region" if the cease-fire was not followed.

Police could not establish who was winning ground in the latest confrontation, which broke out at the Hezbollah-held village of Kfar Milki, six miles southeast of Sidon.

The fighting spread to Jarjou on the southwestern edge of Hezbollah's enclave in the province, according to a police spokesman, who cannot be named.