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27 September 1982
REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL IN PURSUANCE
OF SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 521 (1982)
1. The last report of the Secretary-General (S/15408) contains, among other things, an account of the situation in Beirut area up to the morning of 20 September 1982, and the steps taken by the Secretary-General to implement resolution 521 (1982) which authorized the Secretary-General as an immediate step to increase the number of the United Nations observers in and around Beirut from 10 to 50.
2. As indicated in that report, 25 of the 40 additional observers arrived in Beirut on 20 September from Naqoura. These were followed by 10 more from the Golan Heights on 21 September. The last 5 observers arrived from Cairo on 22 September, thus bringing the total strength of Observer Group Beirut (OGB) to 50.
3. In addition to the mobile patrols being conducted in the Beirut area, OGB established on 21 September three new observation posts in the airport, the Ministry of Tourism building in West Beirut and in the power plant south of the harbour in East Beirut. Three OGB teams have also been conducting patrols in and around Chatila, Sabra and Bordj el Brajneh refugee camps.
4. The following developments in the Beirut area have been reported by OGB for the period from 1000 hrs GMT 20 September (time of the last report) to 1000 hrs GMT,
a. Since the Secretary-General's last report, the situation remained generally calm except for two incidents involving unknown armed elements and Israel Defence Forces (IDF) personnel on 23 and 24 September. On 23 September at 1910 hrs GMT, three IDF personnel were wounded in an exchange of small-arms fire between armed elements and IDF in the vicinity of the overpass on the Corniche Mazraa. On 24 September at 1330 hrs GMT, two armed elements fired at three IDF personnel in a restaurant in Hamra in West Beirut, wounding two of them. One of the armed elements was reported killed during the exchange of fire that ensued.
b. Contingents of the Multinational Force started arriving in Beirut on 24 September. On that day, 350 members of the French contingent arrived, followed by another group of 330 French soldiers on 25 September. On 26 September, 620 members of the Italian contingent arrived. The French contingent is located in the Hippodrome area in West Beirut and the Italian contingent in the Al Hazimiyah area in East Beirut near the line of separation. On 27 September, a further group of 460 French troops arrived in Beirut, bringing the total of the French contingent to 1140 all ranks. This was followed later the same day by the arrival of 520 more Italian soldiers. The total strength of the Italian contingent now also stands at 1140 all ranks. Engineer elements of the French and Italian contingents are scheduled to start mine clearing operations soon in the Sabra and Chatila refugee camp areas respectively.
c. Since 21 September some redeployment of IDF has been reported. On 21 September, IDF vacated positions held previously near Sabra, Chatila and Bordj el Brajneh refugee camps. On 22 September a marked decrease in the presence of IDF in the Beirut airport terminal buildings was reported. On 23 September, IDF were reported to be thinning out of the north-western part of Beirut. This thinning out process continued through 24 and 25 September, when several columns of IDF armoured columns were observed heading south from Bir Hassan area. As of 27 September, the only IDF presence in Western Beirut was reported around Galerie Seeman crossing point and the western access to the harbour, both of which were reported to be symbolic. IDF units were also observed at the Fire Station, at the Beirut Airport and around Khalde.
d. The Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) have continued to patrol within Chatila, Sabra and Bordj el Brajneh refugee camps. They were reported to be carrying out security checks and conducting patrols in areas vacated by IDF. A marked increase in LAF presence and activity was reported particularly along the entire length of the road running from Galerie Seeman crossing point to the Bir Hassan area, the Beirut Airport, the north-western part of West Beirut and the port areas.
5. It is my sad duty to report to the Council that on 25 September, four observers were killed, when their vehicle hit a mine in the vicinity of Zanduqah, east of Beirut. I wish to pay a special tribute to these brave soldiers who served the United Nations with courage and dedication and who gave their lives in the cause of peace.