BEIRUT, Lebanon -- The Red Cross today evacuated 47 seriously wounded Palestinians one day after Syrian troops moved into the second refugee camp besieged for five months by Shiite Moslem Amal militiamen.
A convoy of eight Red Cross ambulances and two cars entered the devastated Burj Al Barajneh camp that is home to 12,000 Palestinians to remove the 47 most seriously injured in five weeks of warfare.
The evacuation came one day after 100 Syrian special forces troops deployed in and around Burj Al Barajneh and evacuated 23 wounded refugees from the nearby Shatila camp in linewith a Syrian-backed accord designed to halt the fighting.
Dr. Reda Aga, the manager of Burj Al Barajneh's only medical facility, said the wounded Palestinians needed special medical care and surgery that could not be performed at the camp's poorly equipped and half-demolished Haifa hospital.
Officials from the Red Cross helped in the evacuation, the first since Burj Al Barajneh was blockaded by Amal on Oct. 29. The operation was supervised by Syrian officers, Amal militia officials and representatives of the Damascus-based Palestinian National Salvation Front.
At least 700 people have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded in the 5-month-old 'camps war' between Amal and Palestinians at the Shatila and Burj al Barajneh camps in Beirut and the Rashidiyeh camp in southern Lebanon.
The Syrian deployments at the two Beirut area camps were ordered under a Syrian-mediated agreement aimed at ending the bloodshed and Amal's 5-month-old siege of Palestinian camps.
Amal militiamen barricaded Palestinian camps throughout Lebanon in October to prevent the Palestinians from re-establishing a military presence in the country, a move Amal contends could trigger another Israeli invasion.
Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 to oust Palestinian guerrillas.
About 7,000 Syrian troops entered west Beirut in February at the request of Moslem leaders to end fighting among rival militias. But their move into Shatila Tuesday was the first deployment at the Palestinian camps.
The lifting of the sieges at Shatila and Burj al Barajneh, where some starving residents had resorted to eating cats and insects, was the result of a Syrian-mediated cease-fire between Amal and Syrian-backed Palestinian guerrillas.
But fighting flared between Amal militiamen and Palestinian guerrillas Wednesday on strategic hills overlooking the Ain El Hilweh and Miyeh Miyeh refugee camps east of Sidon, 24 miles south of Beirut, police said.
Most residents of Burj Al Barajneh, situated in the Shiite southern suburbs of west Beirut, did not venture out of their homes to welcome the Syrian peacekeepers who entered the camp Wednesday.
But Dr. Pauline Cutting, a British surgeon at the camp, observed: 'People are feeling relieved that there is a cease-fire that seems to be holding. For the first time in five months, we have had no wounded today or yesterday.'
With an estimated 12,000 residents, Burj al Barajneh is the largest of the Beirut-area camps.
Sixty Syrian soldiers were greeted by cheering Palestinians when they took up positions in the smaller Shatila refugee camp Tuesday.
Yellow bulldozers cleared away earthern barricades and piles of garbage from Shatila's entrance and streets Wednesday to permit ambulances inside to remove 23 wounded residents. Hundreds of refugees came out of their smashed concrete houses and shacks to watch the evacuation of the wounded from the camp, home to some 8,000 Palestinians.
As relief workers took away the wounded, Israeli warplanes flew reconnaissance flights over the wrecked camp and the two Palestinian camps on the outskirts of the Sidon.