Lebanese army deploys troops around country to impose law and order

The Lebanese army expanded its troop deployment to several tense areas around the country Tuesday, hours after it said soldiers will use force if needed to impose order after almost a week of clashes between the Western-backed government and Hizbullah-led opposition. The army, which is respected by Hizbullah, has played a central role in defusing the violence that started last Wednesday by calling on armed supporters from both sides to leave the streets. However, it has remained neutral in the conflict and did not intervene as Shi'ite gunmen from Hizbullah overran much of west Beirut and the offices of Sunni parliamentary majority leader Saad Hariri. The army's announcement Tuesday signaled that it could step up its involvement to bring an end to the country's worst internal fighting since the end of the civil war in 1990, which has left at least 54 people dead and scores more wounded.