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From the Open-Publishing Newswire
South Beirut suburb devastated
After more than a week of heavy bombardment, south Beirut suburb Haret Hreik resembles a Hollywood-like scene of apocalypse.
As we drove through the rubble-strewn road in the predominantly residential area that also contains Hezbollah's main offices, the smell of smoke and acrid burning filled the air.
We had to wait for Ghassan, a Hezbollah media officer, to escort us.
The two minutes of waiting felt very long, an eerie, tense silence bearing testimony to the fact that Haret Hreik had become a ghost town.
To my relief, Ghassan showed up in a BMW with a driver and asked us to follow him.
Moments later, two young men riding a motorcycle emerged from out of nowhere and fired several warning shots in the air until the driver stopped.
They were security members of the Shia party and the group's media officer had to explain to them that he was showing journalists where the Israeli bombings had hit.
Hezbollah are on high alert for spies. On Wednesday, the party detained 26 people in the southern suburbs of Beirut to interrogate them on suspicion that they were marking buildings for Israel to shell.
Hard to recognise
It was hard to recognise Haret Hreik, with many buildings levelled. The few buildings which stood were blackened by the fires which raged within from bombs and missiles days earlier.