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Lebanese Troops Enter Cities Left by Israel


Lebanese troops have begun moving into areas of southern Lebanon after the withdrawal of Israeli forces.

U.N. peacekeeping officials confirmed that Israeli troops Tuesday moved out of areas including Bint Jbeil, which was the scene of heavy fighting between Israel and Hezbollah militants.

Lebanese troops entered Bint Jbeil for the first time today.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he expects Israel to lift its air, land and sea blockade of Lebanon by Thursday.

Israel has said the blockade will remain in effect until international troops are in place in Lebanon, and steps are taken to stop the supply of arms to Hezbollah guerrillas.

Meanwhile, Turkey's parliament has approved sending military forces to join the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had urged support for the mission following the cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah.

Turkish officials say they will send nearly one-thousand military personnel to conduct naval patrols off Lebanon and to help train Lebanese troops.

Mr. Annan arrived Tuesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara, for talks on the U.N. force.

Turkey is the second Muslim country, after Qatar, to commit troops to the expanded force.

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