Weeping Women Hunt for Kin Before Mass Burial in Beirut

Associated Press

Palestinian women wailed and wept against a backdrop of gunfire and grenade blasts today as they searched for their relatives among 83 decaying bodies brought out of Beirut’s embattled refugee camps for a mass burial.

Dozens of women, their heads covered with scarfs, picked through the fly-covered bodies wrapped in transparent plastic or covered with grubby blankets in a grisly search for husbands, brothers and other relatives.

The unidentified bodies, brought to the Chatilla camp cemetery by gas-masked relief workers, were tagged with numbers on cardboard squares. Women who recognized the rotting and blackened corpses broke into tears.

“There’s my mother,” sobbed a teen-age girl. “And there’s my brother.”


Some collapsed as grim-faced Muslim militiamen, Red Cross volunteers and Lebanese Army soldiers buried the 83 victims of the 18-day war of the camps in two mass graves.

Palestinian girls clad in jeans shouted obscenities at Shia Muslim Amal Foundation charity workers as they carried the corpses on stretchers into the walled cemetery.