The Christian army commander accused Syrian gunners of trying to assassinate him by shelling the presidential palace Saturday. Police said seven people were killed and 32 wounded in artillery duels.

A communique from Gen. Michel Aoun's command said the palace in suburban Baabda came under a sustained barrage of rockets "in a second attempt to assassinate the head of the legitimate government."Aoun, who heads the Christian cabinet in Lebanon's dual government, charged Syrian gunners blasted his military headquarters near Baabda March 14 in an attempt to kill him.

At least one civilian was killed and another was wounded in the Baabda attack Saturday, police said. The two-story hilltop palace sustained extensive damage but Aoun and aides were uninjured, his communique said.

The new casualties raised the toll to 88 killed and 285 wounded since March 8, when the latest round in Lebanon's 14-year-old civil war broke out.