Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gaddafi attacks a civilian evacuation in the port of Misrata and leaves five dead

Beirut. .- At least five people were killed on Wednesday as a result of shelling of Muammar Gaddafi forces against Misrata port area in western Libya, according to a spokesman for the rebels. The attack followed the arrival of a ship of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to evacuate wounded civilians and immigrants, and victims are some of the people awaiting evacuation.

"The bomb has caused casualties, among Libyans and other nationalities who were waiting for evacuation," a spokesman told Reuters the rebels, Gemal Salem. "At the moment we have five dead and ambulances have arrived on the scene to transport the victims," he said. The boat chartered by the IOM to evacuate thousands of African and Asian immigrants and civilians wounded in combat on Wednesday managed to dock at the port of Misrata, the only city that remains under rebel control Libyans in the west.

According to IOM spokesman, the ship 'Red Star One', who had been waiting off the coast of Misrata from Saturday because of the bombing on the city by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, was waiting to start loading passengers. Because of the delay, at least two civilians were seriously injured among the 36 dead waiting to be evacuated.

The vessel, Albanian flag, carrying 180 tons of food, water and supplies for children. According to the IOM, at least 23 journalists have also asked to be evacuated from the city. The immigrants, who worked mainly in construction and oil from countries like Niger, Ghana, Chad, Nigeria, Sudan, Mali, Egypt and Bangladesh.

They include at least 71 women and children. So far, IOM has evacuated more than 5,500 boat people from Misrata to Benghazi in eastern Libya.

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