Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Reporters on the Job

Article excerpt

* Key Escort: Correspondent Nicholas Blanford went to see the father of Bilal Mahmoud, whose killing last week by police set off calls for revenge in his Tripoli neighborhood and boosted sympathy for Fatah al-Islam, an Al Qaeda-linked group (see story).

After Nick arrived, he and the father walked down the street to see where Bilal was shot. "This is a poor, militant neighborhood. I was getting a lot of frosty looks," says Nick. "But the father hooked his arm through mine, and everything was fine. The foreigner was with the father of the martyr."

By coincidence, a squad of forensic detectives arrived while Nick was there. Nick says officials hadn't gone into the quarter because of fear of repercussions. "There's been a backlash against the government, and the authorities were worried about this," says Nick. "They felt by sending in detectives, it might ease the mood."

The head of the local police station talked to the father and asked him to try to calm things. …

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