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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 20:29 GMT 21:29 UK
Aftermath of Beirut missile strike
By Hugh Sykes
BBC News, Beirut

A view of apartment buildings in the Chyah area of Beirut hit in an Israeli strike on
Local residents deny there is any Hezbollah activity in the area
In the residential suburb of Chyah in Beirut workmen have been clearing up after the Israeli missile attack on Monday night.

The missile fell on a block of flats, killing at least 15 people and wounding an estimated 40.

Lorries, diggers and bulldozers have been clearing the pile of plaster, dust and broken concrete, which is all that remains of the five-storey residential apartment block in Hijaj Street, about 10 minutes from the city centre.

The blocks on each side were also badly damaged by the explosion, which was heard right across the city shortly before 2000 local time (1700 GMT).

Potted plants

Balcony railings were blown into the street, sun awnings torn, potted plants on window ledges ripped and destroyed.

On one side of the bomb site, visible through a large hole in the wall on the third floor, were a dining table and chair with a chandelier intact above them.

Badiaa Umm Hassan, a Lebanese woman, cries on the bloodstained stairs of her apartment in southern Beirut, destroyed on 7 August by an Israeli missile strike
Many people came here because they believed this district was safe
This is a densely populated residential district. Businesses in the street include a supermarket, a hairdressing salon, a fishmonger's, a greengrocer's and a mobile phone shop.

And in the basement of the bombed block, there was an internet cafe.

Would Israel risk a high number of civilian deaths if they received information that a senior Hezbollah man was doing his e-mail?

Local people vigorously deny that there is any Hezbollah activity in this area.

Many families displaced by the Israel bombardment of south Beirut nearby came here because, until Monday evening, they believed it to be safe.

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