BEIRUT, Lebanon -- -- United Press International photographer Leighton Mark was shot and wounded today while taking pictures of street fighting between rival Muslem militias in west Beirut.
Mark, 32, was taken to the American Hospital in Beirut, where he underwent 2 hours of surgery to remove several pieces of shrapnel and a bullet lodged in his chest.
After the operation, doctors said he was in good condition.
Witnesses said Mark was photographing heavy street fighting outside his west Beirut apartment when unidentified militiamen opened fire on him, perhaps mistaking his cameras for a weapon.
Mark, a native of Independence, Mo., joined UPI in 1981. His family lives in Topeka, Kan.
He transferred to Beirut in December from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he was bureau manager of the pictures department.
Before his southern Africa assignment, Mark worked on the desk in Brussels. He graduated in 1976 from Washburn University in Topeka.
Late last month, UPI photographer Jack Dabbaghian, 22, a Lebanese national, suffered shrapnel wounds when a sniper's bullet struck him in the thigh while he was on assignment on the line dividing the Muslem and Christian sectors of Beirut.