Palestinian Refugees Mark Massacres in Lebanon

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BEIRUT - Palestinian refugees in Lebanon on Friday marked the 19th anniversary of the Sabra and Shatila massacres, in which Lebanese Christian militias loyal to Israel killed hundreds of people at Beirut refugee camps.

Dozens of Palestinians laid wreaths of flowers at a mass grave at the Shatila camp and took the opportunity to denounce Israeli attacks on Palestinian areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, burning an Israeli flag.

They also called on United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan to hold Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responsible for the massacres, which occurred as his troops ringed the camps following Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Belgium has suspended a controversial legal case launched by survivors of the massacres and relatives of its victims who want Sharon, then Israel's defense minister, tried for crimes against humanity, pending a court ruling on the legality of the action.

Dozens of others Palestinians staged a strike in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the southern port city of Sidon, calling for Sharon's punishment.

Some 360,000 Palestinians are registered as refugees in Lebanon.



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