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Wounded Militia Commander Suffers Setback

November 9, 1988

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Wounded Lebanese militia commander Antoine Lahd was in intensive care today after suffering a setback while recovering from an assassination attempt, a hospital official and news reports said.

The 61-year-old Lahd’s condition deteriorated Tuesday night and his blood pressure plummeted, said Dr. Zvi Ben-Ishai of Rambam Hospital in Haifa.

Lahd was wounded in the arm by the bullet Monday in an attack in south Lebanon. He suffered massive bleeding because a major blood vessel was hit, Ben-Ishai said.

The national Itim news agency, quoting Dr. Shimon Burstein, director of the hospital intensive care unit, said Lahd was on a respirator. Itim quoted Burstein as saying the militia leader’s his condition stabilized this afternoon after he received blood transfusions.

Burstein was quoted as saying it could take up to two weeks for Lahd’s condition to improve, adding that his ″chances of recuperating are strong,″ Itim said.

The Maariv daily reported Israeli troops blew up the home of a 21-year-old Lebanese woman, Soha Fayez Bishara, who allegedly shot Lahd at his home in Marjayoun in south Lebanon. Ms. Bishara is from the nearby village of Deir Mimas.

The army denied it destroyed the woman’s home.

Dr. Caesar Sakr, an aide to Lahd, said the woman and Lahd were drinking coffee together when she suddenly pulled out a pistol and shot him.

The Israeli army’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Dan Shomron, was quoted as saying Tuesday that Lahd ignored warnings that Ms. Bishara was a security risk. She got to know Lahd by acting as a dance instructor for his wife, Minerva.

Lahd heads the South Lebanon Army militia, whose 2,000 fighters help Israeli soldiers patrol a six-to-10-mile-wide security zone in Lebanon that Israel created to protect its northern border.

Responsibility for the attack on Lahd was claimed by a coalition of Syrian- backed leftist groups in Lebanon. The coalition, called the Lebanese National Resistance Front, said in Beirut on Tuesday that the shooting was in support of the Palestinian uprising in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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