Video: Lebanese town living in hospital

By Richard Engel Chief foreign correspondent
NBC News
updated 7/28/2006 1:13:20 PM ET 2006-07-28T17:13:20

The ambulances raced south into the center of the fighting, through empty villages, on dirt roads, past bombed gas stations. Our driver struggled to keep up.

The goal: to reach Tibnini, a Lebanese village 10 miles from the Israeli border. It was rumored that everyone there was holed up in a hospital, hoping it was safe from Israeli airstrikes.

The rumors were true. The hospital was full of refugees. Mattresses in every corner. Nothing to eat but bread and canned meat. Water running low, power off and on, and only one doctor.

Everyone who is left in this village is now living here. There are 300 people in this hospital and they all want to leave.  But they can't afford to. Taxis now charge up to $1,000 to drive the dangerous route to Beirut.

The Horiz family told me they walked for two days as Israel shelled their village.

"My three-year-old son didn't have any shoes," said the father.

Abeer Baz walked here, too.

"They bombed my neighbor's house and we had to leave," she said.

Just hours after she gave birth to her baby six days ago, Baz walked 10 miles to get here.

In the emergency room, we found 70-year-old Latifa Nasr. Dr. Nabil Harquosa said an Israeli shell destroyed her house. 

"She stayed from last night until tonight under the destruction," said Harquosa. 

Latifa was dehydrated, with a broken pelvis, too. Medics had to gently raise her to give her water.

Doctor Harquosa was frustrated, exhausted and disgusted.

"It is terrible," he says. "Terrible. There is no humanity."

Latifa was finally evacuated.

Abeer Baz wept, as the only ambulance returned to Tyre, leaving her and her baby behind.

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