Hezbollah 'couldn't have staged Qana photos'

The mainstream media has denied allegations from bloggers that pictures of the massacre in the Lebanese village of Qana were staged.

The Independent, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph printed front-page photographs on 31 July of a man carrying a dead girl following an Israeli airstrike.

It was later alleged on Dr Richard North's EU Referendum blog that this was part of a series of photographs staged for photographers and video news crews. He wrote: "The combination of Hezbollah's media management and modern photojournalism has turned the recording of a tragic event into theatre."

Agence France Presse's Middle East photo director, Patrick Baz, said: "We arrived at the same time as the Red Cross and the civil defence. Nothing could be staged. There's no way. It's not like you're there at the morgue of the hospital. You are part of the scene and smoke is still billowing out."

The Guardian's deputy picture editor, Helen Healy, said the paper had three reporters and a photographer on the ground and that photographs were not staged.

She added: "That man [in the front-page image] was involved alongside the Red Cross man in the rescue operation, so I haven't any reason to believe [photos were staged]."

But Daily Telegraph picture editor Bob Bodman thought there was an element of staging in some photos of the current Middle East conflict.

"Hezbollah are notorious for using children in demonstrations and other situations because they know children are very emotive and can get the profile in newspapers and on television that they want."

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