October 09, 2011

Blasted Sirte hospital crammed with the dazed and the dead, Globe and Mail, 09 Oct 2011

http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=462951&version=1&template_id=37&parent_id=17
orig story from Globe & Mail


Triumphant fighters bearing Kalashnikovs marched up and down shouting “Allahu Akbar” yesterday as dazed and frightened patients in Sirte’s main hospital lay crammed into a ground floor corridor.

“It was a holocaust, not a hospital,” said Dr Nabil Lamine as he fought his way through the crowd. Lamine headed upstairs to check on the only two patients left on the upper floors. “We have to bring them all down because of the days of shelling” that preceded the capture of the Ibn Sina hospital by National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters, he said.

He picked his way through shattered glass and turned right into the intensive care unit, where two semi-naked men lay amid the stench of excrement in a room strewn with rubbish and broken medical equipment. One needed brain surgery and the other had to have a leg amputated, said Lamine as artillery fire rocked the building from the fighting nearby as NTC forces tried to push Gaddafi loyalists back towards the city centre.

“We can’t help them. We don’t have the proper doctors. They may die,” said Lamine as he rushed back downstairs, leaving the men alone in the unit where a torn poster of Gaddafi lay on the filthy floor. One of the two tried feebly to sit up, before falling back again onto stinking bedsheets.

On the ground floor most of the patients in the corridor were frightened-looking young men, some with horrific burns to their faces. “Say ‘Libya Hurra’ (Free Libya),” one young fighter ordered a patient, who meekly obeyed. Three gun-toting fighters gathered around another young man, shouting at him and accusing him of being a Gaddafi loyalist. An older combatant tired to calm them down.
“Some are civilians, but most of these are Gaddafi men,” said Hesham Ali Harba, an NTC fighter who said he was a doctor.

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