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Last Updated: Monday, 28 March, 2005, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
More Syrian troops leave Lebanon
Syrian troops packing up in Aramoun, south of Beirut
Syria and Lebanon are to discuss further withdrawals next week
Lebanese military officials say that another 2,000 Syrian troops have left the country in the past few days.

This cuts the number of Syrian troops in Lebanon to about 8,000 men, the lowest since the end of the civil war in 1990 when they numbered some 14,000.

More Syrian forces, who were sent into Lebanon during the 15-year conflict, are expected to pull out this week.

A joint Lebanese-Syrian military commission will meet next week to agree on the second phase of the withdrawal.

Meanwhile, a senior Lebanese government official headed for New York, to meet UN officials and attend a Security Council meeting.

The Security Council is expected to set up a commission of inquiry into the assassination of the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Hariri.

His death sparked widespread street protests which eventually brought about the downfall of the Lebanese government.

Many Lebanese accused Syria of being involved in the killing, a charge strongly denied by Damascus.


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