Staff have begun to move back into the battered, seafront hotels of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, providing another sign of the return to normal life after nine months of civil war.
GV EXTERIOR St. George Hotel
SV PAN Chairs and tables strewn across terrace and damaged doorway
GV PAN INT Debris
SV Cat in road ZOOM BACK TO damage in street
SV PAN Damaged front of Hotel Phoenicia
SV Men repairing damage to television set (2 shots)
CU Bottle of champagne ZOOM BACK TO debris
Initials BB/2350 DE/JB/BB/0010
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Background: Staff have begun to move back into the battered, seafront hotels of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, providing another sign of the return to normal life after nine months of civil war.
For the first time in two months, the telephone switchboards in some hotels, which had been used as fortresses by opposing left and right-wing forces at the height of the fighting, are being manned.
Spokesmen at the battle-scarred hotels said repairs would run into millions of pounds and take months to complete.
One of the hotels is the elegant St. George, the favourite among the playboy set and executives on expense accounts. It is damaged almost beyond repair and the management has not yet decided whether it will try and rebuild it.
About 1,800 Lebanese have lost their jobs through losses in the vital hotels sector of the economy. The civil war has left deep scars on a country once held up as a model of co-existence between different religions.
During the war, at least 10,000 people were killed and one official put the figure nearer 20,000. Most were non-combatants murdered by kidnappers, or picked off by snipers.