Babylon & Beyond

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LEBANON: Chickening out in Beirut

May 9, 2008 |  8:04 am


As chaos spread through Lebanon, panicked residents cleared shelves of frozen chicken and meats, preparing for the worst.

In one war-torn neighborhood a woman walked down the street while struggling to hold bags of clothing and a small child in her hand. A soldier ran to her, grabbed the child and helped her cross the street.

Soldiers ferried terrified citizens out of the war zones, sometimes stuffing them into Humvees.

Those who could escaped to homes of relatives outside Beirut, especially up into the mountains. Those who couldn't hunkered in basement bunkers, just as they did during the 1975-1990 civil war.

One particularly harrowing scene on Al Arabiya television, and rebroadcast by CNN (below), captured a city's dread.

Will another generation of Lebanese suffer through a long stretch of war?

Borzou Daragahi and Raed Rafei in Beirut

Photo: There was nothing left in the poultry section of the Monoprix supermarket in the Achrafieh section of East Beirut on Thursday. Credit: Borzou Daragahi / Los Angeles Times