Beirut Death Toll at 161 Americans; French Casualties Rise in Bombings; Reagan Insists Marines Will Remain
Truck Loaded With TNT Wrecks Headquarters of a Marine Unit
By Thomas E. Friedman
Washington, Oct. 23 - President Reagan, voicing outrage over the ''despicable'' destruction of the Marine Corps headquarters in Lebanon, called on the nation today to be more determined than ever to keep a force in that country and resist ''the bestial nature of those who would assume power.''
The President, plunging into a day of emergency strategy meetings on the bombing, denounced the unidentified forces behind the attack and said the nation ''must be more determined than ever that they cannot take over that vital and strategic area of the earth.''
Administration officials, emphasizing that there would be no change in the United States' military role in Lebanon, said there was ''circumstantial evidence'' that fanatic terrorists aligned with Iran may have been responsible for the truck bomb that razed the four-story Marine Corps headquarters in Beirut, leaving 161 dead and 75 wounded.
The White House spokesman, Larry Speakes, said this evening that the Administration was also ''looking into'' Syria's possible role in the incident, but he did not cite any evidence.
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Also, visit the Armorer's post from last year.