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62 hours in hell.

It was 16 September 1982 in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, as the sounds of gunfire echoed throughout the densely packed, impoverished area.

For 62 hours, members of the Phalange militia went on a rape and murder spree in the camp, butchering women, babies and the elderly -- all under the watchful eye of Ariel Sharon-- then Israel's Defence Mininster -- 200 metres away, on a rooftop.

The exact number of victims will never be known. The International Committee for the Red Cross initially counted 1,500 bodies at the time, but by 22 September this count had risen to 2,400. The next day, another 350 corpses were uncovered, raising the total to 2,750.

This toll does not include those still unaccounted for, buried in mass graves or carted away by militiamen, never to be seen again.

On 16 December 1982, the UN General Assembly condemned the massacre and declared it to be an "act of genocide"EeA[yen].

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 16, 2012
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