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As Lebanon bombing continues, the dead must wait

Published: Thursday July 20, 2006

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The New York Times is set to report Friday on deteriorating conditions in the Lebanese city of Tyre, RAW STORY has learned.

According to the Times:

Carpenters are running out of wood for coffins. Bodies are stacked three or four high in a truck at the local hospital morgue. The stench is spreading in the rubble.
The morbid reality of Israel's bombing campaign of the south is reaching almost every corner of this city. Just a few miles from the Rest House hotel, where the United Nations was evacuating civilians on Thursday, wild dogs gnawed at the charred remains of a family bombed as they were trying to escape the village of Hosh, officials said.
Officials at the Tyre Government Hospital inside a local Palestinian refugee camp said they counted the bodies of 50 children among the 115 in the refrigerated truck in the morgue, though their count could not be independently confirmed.

The Times states that because of bombed-out roads and bridges, few families have been able to make it to the hospital to claim their dead. Even those relatives who reach the morgue are unable to arrange for proper burials. The city is prepared to begin burying the dead in mass graves, and the Tyre morgue has ordered more than 100 coffins with special handles, so they can more easily be removed from the ground for reburial later.

Still other bodies remaining rotting along the roadsides, because the dangers of removing them are too great for emergency workers to risk.

Even the UN peacekeepers packed up and left Tyre on Thursday. As they departed, there were fears of an even heavier bombardment and rumors of a full-fledged Israeli invasion.