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Security is tight in the southern suburbs of Beirut, where local newspapers report that Hezbollah is preparing to expand its ‘security zone’, the effectively autonomous part of the city that the group retains from the civil war. Political tensions in the capital are rising after one of the Shia group’s military leaders, Ghaleb Awali, died in a car bomb on 19 July. The attack was carried out ‘either by Israeli hands that infiltrated into Lebanon with European, American or other passports, or at the hands of local Lebanese agents,’ said Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. Israel is routinely implicated in such assassinations, but security officials are concerned that Awali’s death may indeed mark an escalation in the conflict between the two old enemies.