AmericanWounded in Shootout
May. 03, 1986
BEIRUT, Lebanon (AP) _ An American serving as a trainer with the Shiite Moslem Amal militia was wounded in a duel with a Lebanese comrade, officials said today.
Issa Mehdi Abdallah, 29, whose name was Calven Rapahel Holt until he converted to Islam, was shot in the stomach, right thigh and right foot in the pistol duel at west Beirut's Hamra commercial thoroughfare on Friday.
The American University Hospital said Abdallah was removed from the critical list today after an emergency surgery to remove the bullets and was ''doing fine.''
A hospital spokesman said the other militiaman remained in ''grave condition'' from a pistol bullet wound he suffered in the lower abdomen. He was identified as Mohammed Qatharani.
A terse Amal statement attributed the shootout to a ''personal quarrel.''
Abdallah, who once served as an Iranian Embassy guard in Washington, has said he converted to Islam two months after he left the U.S. Army in the late 1970s.
The Baptist-born American came to Beirut in December 1983 and joined Amal to train guerrilla fighters, ''using experience I gained as Green Beret in Vietnam,'' he was quoted as saying in a 1982 interview.
Abdallah was once reported to be wanted in the July 1980 fatal shooting of Ali Akbar Tabtatabei, an Iranian politician opposed to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic revolution, who was slain outside his Washington house.
Abdallah said he had been questioned by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in connection with the charge and had ''spent five months underground.'' He did not elaborate.
Amal officials said they did not know where Abdallah had been born in the United States, and he was under sedation today and not available to reporters.