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Girls emerge unhurt from rubble

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Thirty-five teenage girls trapped in a basement textile factory were rescued Friday from the rubble of a massive explosion, Palestinian sources said, as the death toll from the blast rose to 92 killed and 222 injured.

Frantic rescue workers dug for 13 hours through tons of debris and broke through a reinforced concrete roof of a collapsed building before freeing the girls early in the morning, the sources said.

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An unspecified number of them had died but most were uninjured, the sources said.

But a police source said the bodies of six more people were discovered under the ruins Friday and three people gravely injured from the blast had died in hospitals, raising the death toll reported by Palestinian sources to 92. The sources said 222 people were injured in the explosion.

The explosion Thursday of a car booby-trapped with 220 pounds of TNT and 20 gallons of gasoline occurred near the offices of the Palestine Liberation Organization on a busy street in Moslem west Beirut packed with fruit and vegetable venders and housewives doing their morning shopping.

The Palestine Liberation Organization charged Israeli agents exploded the Beirut car-bomb, but the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners, a shadowy rightist group behind seven other recent bombings, claimed responsibility for the attack.

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The bomb tore through the narrow street crowded with shoppers and militiamen from nearby PLO offices and was followed within hours by a second explosion in the Palestinian stronghold of Nabatiyeh which killed one person.

Six other cars loaded with hundreds of pounds of explosives were found and defused in Beirut and Sidon in what was intended as a devastating blitz against Palestinians and leftist Lebanese militiamen by rightist terrorists.

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