Robert Fisk: No food or water for 20,000 in four days at hell's border
Published 02/03/2011 | 05:00
THE Libyans watched from an open window of the immigration post, leaning out to see the 20,000 fleeing Egyptian, Bangladeshi, Chinese and Iranian workers heaped up against the border wall.
Already up to 75,000 have struggled into Tunisia, but yesterday the crossing system collapsed as thousands of men -- almost all Arabs desperate to escape Muammar Gaddafi's state -- fought with local Tunisians who, under the eyes of the army, attacked them with stakes and iron bars.
Many of the soldiers hurled plastic water bottles and biscuits into the masses of refugees who began to jump the border wall in their desperation, heaving family members and baggage through breaks in the cement. Most of these 20,000 had gone without food, water or sleep for four days. How is it possible that people should suffer so greatly at a mere border post?