LEBANON BEEFS UP SECURITY FOR WEEKEND PAPAL VISIT BEIRUT
(CWN) May 7, 1997- The Lebanese government announced on Tuesday that it will use 20,000 soldiers and policemen to ensure Pope John Paul's safety during his visit to the Middle Eastern country this weekend. The security force represents one-quarter of the country's military and police, said government spokesman May Kahhale. The remaining 60,000 soldier will be on alert and leaves have been cancelled. The security measures are in effect with an eye toward preventing a repeat of a disaster three years ago when a church was bombed prior to the Holy Father's visit, killing 10 people and forcing a cancellation of that trip. An assassination attempt was also made on the Holy Father's life during a trip to Sarajevo last month when bombs were hidden along his motorcade route. The Holy Father will lead an outdoor rally of 12,000 youths and will also celebrate an outdoor Mass for 300,000 people in downtown Beirut.
Catholic World News Service Daily News Briefs [MAY. 07, 1997] ================================================