Friday, April 22, 2011

Gaddafi's forces and rebels have intense fighting in Misrata

Misrata. .- The forces loyal to the regime of Gaddafi being held on Wednesday fierce fighting with rebels in the town of Misrata, the last stronghold of the rebels in the west of the country after the clashes the previous day that left eight dead. Misrata, the third largest city in Libya, has been under siege by the forces of the regime for more than seven weeks.

It is estimated that in this town bombings and clashes between rebels and government forces has left hundreds dead. "There is heavy fighting in the Thequeel Naklo road that leads to the port. Gaddafi's forces are trying to control the road to isolate the city," warned Abdelsalam, a spokesman for the rebels.

"The NATO warplanes are flying over Misrata do not know if there are attacks," said in a telephone conversation from Misrata. The rebel spokesman has said that NATO is being "ineffective" in Misrata and has "failed to complement" in their attempt to "change things on the ground." Abdelsalam also noted that there have been "heavy fighting" in Tripoli Street, the main route of communication Misrata during this morning.

"I'm hearing explosions now. A large number of snipers are located there," he asserted, before explaining that "civilians can not leave for fear of being fired." The Libyan government has denied that its troops are bombarding Misrata and ensured that they are fighting foreign militias linked to al Qaeda who want to destroy the country.

Another rebel spokesman, identified only as Reda, has said that the rebels are controlling "now" 50 percent of Tripoli street. "The other 50 percent is controlled by Gadhafi soldiers and snipers," he added. Reda explained that the area near the port of Misrata - a rebel-controlled sector of vital importance to the civilians and the arrival of humanitarian and medical supplies - has remained quiet on Wednesday and ships have been docking smoothly.

"A Turkish ship carrying humanitarian aid has reached about 30 minutes. Qatari Two ships were here and evacuated some 1,500 Africans," he recounted. Reda said that on Wednesday has reached Misrata a ship to evacuate more immigrants. In total, some 5,000 foreigners remain in the port area awaiting evacuation.

"I do not know if we can get" immigrants, explained in a statement the head of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Jeremy Haslam. "If they are near the port, then it will be extremely difficult to access given the security situation in the city," he warned. The United Nations agency based in Geneva, which has already evacuated some 2,100 people Misrata on two previous missions, explained that the ship Ionian Spirit carries 500 tonnes of food and medical supplies, among other products, as well as a team Thirteen doctors.

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