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DATE=1/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=LEBANON / RUSSIA (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-257733 BYLINE=RICHARD ENGEL DATELINE=CAIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Lebanese police have killed a Palestinian man who fired grenades at the Russian embassy in Beirut Monday. They say a note found in the dead man's pocket indicates his attack was a protest against Russia's military assault on Muslim rebels in Chechnya. Richard Engel reports from our Middle East bureau. TEXT: Lebanese security forces killed the Palestinian refugee after an hour-long gun battle in central Beirut. The man had barricaded himself in a building near the Russian embassy and fired on police, killing at least one officer and wounding others. Police found weapons and a note that said the Palestinian man hoped, in his words, to be a martyr for Grozny -- a reference to the capital of Chechnya, where Russian forces are attacking Muslim rebels. Police encircled the area after the gunman, identified as 30-year-old Ahmed Raja Abu Kharub, fired three anti-tank grenades at the Russian embassy, killing a Lebanese guard, injuring others and causing a panic. Russian officials say no embassy staff were killed in the attack. Police in Beirut are reportedly investigating to see if the attacker acted alone or had accomplices. Papers found on Abu Kharub identified him as a Palestinian refugee who came from a camp in southern Lebanon destroyed by Israel in the early 1970s. /// REST OPT /// Monday's embassy attack came as Lebanese forces battled Islamic militants in northern Lebanon for a third day. Nine soldiers, two civilians and an unknown number of Islamic rebels have been killed in the fighting, which began on Friday. Newspapers in Beirut recently reported that Islamic militants have been training in Lebanon, preparing to fight in Chechnya. Lebanese security officials deny those reports. (Signed) NEB/RHE/GE/WTW 03-Jan-2000 11:23 AM EDT (03-Jan-2000 1623 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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