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    27 March 2005

    Lebanon: An Interesting Development

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    Chicago Tribune (via M)

    The nightclubs and restaurants that symbolized Lebanon's recovery have all but emptied amid fears of more attacks.

    On the black market, the price of a Kalashnikov has risen sharply, another indicator of the tensions that are building as the political crisis precipitated by the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri enters its seventh week.

    "Everybody is buying guns, because they are afraid, on both sides," said Ali Saleh, 37, a Shiite store owner who decided he should buy one, as a precaution, and was disconcerted to find he would have to pay $450, more than four times the pre-crisis price. "The country is preparing," he said.

    It then continues with this

    By no means is everybody expecting the worst. Opposition leaders accuse Syria and its Lebanese allies in the security forces of waging the bombing campaign in order to sow sectarian discord, and they insist they won't be provoked.

    Which seems to go against the recent claim that the anti-Syria opposition leader is publicly saying that Hezbollah should keep its weapons until Israel withdraws from a disputed area. It continues stating that Correspondents say it could signal better relations between the opposition and Hezbollah.

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