Hundreds more Palestinians fled from the fallen Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut on Friday (13 August), as Christian right wing forces continued moving into the devastated area.
GVs Tel al-Zaatar refuge camp showing damaged buildings (2 shots)
SV Christian Right Wing troops in trucks and tanks along road
SVs Debris in Tel al-Zaatar camp (2 shots)
SV Bodies in camp (2 shots)
Refugees from Tel al-Zaatar, including injured walking past Arab League soldier (3 shots)
SV Women and children from Tel al-Zaatar on lorry through street (2 shots)
SCU INT Dr. Fathi Arafat of Palestinian Red Crescent speaking in Arabic PAN ACROSS TO Dr. Abdul Aziz Labadi then to Dr. Youssef Iraki (right)
SV Dr. Labadi speaking in Arabic
SV PAN FROM Dr. Arafat and doctors TO official translating statement into English PAN BACK TO Dr. Arafat at table
"They made it possible to overcome all the difficulties. We evacuated the hospitals. We transferred the injured to different places in the buildings and took them to 13 centres in addition to the clinics. And all people who were in these clinics and these centres were about 60. And they were the symbol of steadfastness and we have lost them. Dr. Arafat said that these nurses, males and females, were gathered and executed yesterday in front of the two doctors."
Herr Jean Hoefliger, the chief representative of the International Red Cross in Lebanon, later told Reuters he knew that at least 10 nurses had been killed and another 50 had disappeared. He added that he had been in contact with Rightist leaders about the fate of the nurses since the camp fell, but they had not replied to his requests for information.
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Background: Hundreds more Palestinians fled from the fallen Tel al-Zaatar refugee camp on the outskirts of Beirut on Friday (13 August), as Christian right wing forces continued moving into the devastated area. Meanwhile, at a news conference called by the Palestinian Red Crescent organisation, two camp doctors claimed that Rightist forces killed 60 of their nurses after the final assault.
SYNOPSIS: Tel al-Zaatar fell to Rightist forces on Thursday (12 August) after a bitter 52-day siege. The camp had been under almost-constant bombardment until the final assault. After it was over-run, Rightists forces moved in tanks to occupy the camp and deal with pockets of Palestinian resistance.
After a siege lasting over seven weeks, the camp was shattered. In the final stages of the conflict, the International Red Cross managed to evacuate about 300 people, but the Palestinians claimed thousands more died during the siege for want of proper medical aid, and from dehydration and starvation.
Refugees were allowed through Rightist lines to Palestinian-held West Beirut, where they were met by Arab League soldiers. But even here they were greeted by the sound of gunfire.
Meanwhile, as the stragglers left the camp, the Palestinians were claiming a grim end for 60 nurses from Tel al Zaatar. They accused the Rightists of executing them as they were escorted from the camp on Thursday (12 August). The Rightists had not replied to the charge by Saturday (14 August).
Dr. Fathi Arafat (centre) of the Palestinian Red Crescent, chaired the news conference about the alleged killings. With him were the two doctors from Tel al-Zaatar, Dr. Abdul Labadi (left) and Dr. Youssef Iraki (right). They said their nurses were separated from them by Rightist gunmen when they left the camp.
Dr. Labadi said the nurses were taken aside. As the doctors were placed in the care of a Syrian officer, Dr. Arafat claimed that the nurses were killed in front of them. A statement was then read on behalf of the doctors.