HARET HREIK — UN chief Kofi Annan was booed by a crowd chanting pro-Hezbollah slogans today as he toured Beirut’s southern suburbs devastated by Israel’s war against the Shiite militant group. Dozens of men, women and children angrily waved pictures of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and shouted ‘Allah, Nasrallah and all of the suburbs’ as the UN secretary general emerged from his car to survey the destruction in the heart of the Haret Hreik area, a Hezbollah stronghold. Others booed and shouted ‘death to Israel’ and ‘long live Syria’ as they surrounded Mr Annan’s convoy of vehicles which was accompanied by a heavy security detail. Mr Annan was accompanied by Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, Foreign Minister Fawzi Sallukh as well as Hezbollah MPs. His visit lasted barely 10 minutes as nervous security officers whisked him quickly out of the area. The United Nations and the international community were much criticised during Israel’s offensive for failing to stop the bloodshed that claimed almost 1500 lives, most of them Lebanese civilians. One woman, clad in a black chador, laid a portrait of Nasrallah face down on the tinted glass of one of the moving vehicles. […]

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