The last guerrillas loyal to Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasser Arafat withdrew Tuesday from a ravaged refugee camp in southern Beirut after their positions were overrun by rival pro-Syrian fighters, Palestinian sources said.
The sources said about 80 followers of Arafat, along with their families, pulled out of the Shatila camp and were escorted by Syrian troops and Libyan officers to the southern port city of Sidon, 24 miles south of Beirut.Witnesses said the convoy of two trucks and three cars was prevented from reaching two refugee camps on the outskirts of Sidon by the Nasserite Popular Liberation Army of Sunni Moslem leader Mustapha Saad.
Younis Awwad, a PLO field commander loyal to Arafat, said negotiations were under way to allow the wounded, the women and the children to enter the city first. He said there were eight wounded Fatah officers in the convoy, and 20 children and 18 women.
"We hope this banning will not continue, because we have instructed our comrades that they will have to deal with it as if they were besieged by the enemy," he said.
"Mr. Saad's refusal to have the Palestinians enter Sidon is a symbolic act to show he is not satisfied with what happened in Shatila. But eventually he will let the men in," said a Moslem source in Sidon.
The pullout at dawn came after Libyan officers succeeded in arranging a surrender that ended 17 days of factional fighting in the PLO.