Video: Desperation continues in Tyre

By Richard Engel Chief foreign correspondent
NBC News
updated 7/28/2006 1:14:44 PM ET 2006-07-28T17:14:44

There was pandemonium after two Israeli bombs destroyed the home of Hezbollah's commander in south Lebanon. Hezbollah says he wasn't inside.

Everyday the airstrikes are getting closer to the center of Tyre. One flattened a building.

"It was a five story building," said one man. "God destroy Israel."

Suddenly, we smelled gas fumes. Fearing a secondary explosion, locals and reporters scrambled away, through burning debris and live electric wires.

But some stayed — shirts off so they wouldn't catch fire — digging through the wreckage to search for bodies.

Five miles away, a U.N. recovery team was also digging through wreckage. An Israeli airstrike killed six people in this house 11 days ago. In 100 degree heat today, the stench was nauseating.

We watched the team find the body of a woman — searching with shovels in their hands. They found another body. It is a young child wrapped in a blanket.

Also in the rubble, we saw pots, wedding pictures, trophies and this captivating photograph of a young girl.

We filmed it and went door to door asking neighbors who she was.

"This is a daughter of Reyas Jumaa" one woman said.

Finally a man told us her name. Celine. And where to find her father.

At a nearby grocery store, we found him. Celine, he said who would have been three next month, was dead, along with her sister and mother.

"I left the house 15 minutes before the airstrike to run an errand," he said. "Now my entire family is dead and I don't know why."

In Tyre today, there more signs of suffering. Carloads of refugees poured into the city. Their only protection: white flags.

On a pier at Tyre's port today, a woman bid goodbye to her family, blessing them with the Koran as they escaped, leaving her behind.

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