Gaddafi forces killing people in Sirte

2011-09-22 17:32

Sirte - Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi who control the city of Sirte have been executing residents suspected of sympathising with Libya's new rulers, forces backing the country's interim government and fleeing residents said.

On the Mediterranean coast about 450km east of Tripoli, Sirte is Gaddafi's hometown and one of just a handful of places in Libya still held by fighters loyal to him.

National Transitional Council (NTC) forces have surrounded the city for a week, but say their progress has been stymied largely because there are many civilians still inside the city, where residents report shortages of basic goods.

Hundreds of civilians continued to pour out of the city on Thursday in cars and pickups loaded with mattresses and food as the former rebel fighters fired machine guns and incoming rockets crashed on the city's outskirts.

"The situation isn't great," said one resident who did not give his name as he left the city, where he said Gaddafi's forces were moving "like gangs" through the streets.

"There have been executions," he said, naming two men who he said had been executed on Thursday. He also said he had witnessed executions in front of the house of a local family, whose name he gave as Safruny.

An NTC commander on the outskirts of Sirte, separately showed Reuters a handwritten list of families whose members were said to have been executed in Sirte. The list, which he said he compiled with information from people inside the city, included the Safruny family.

The commander gave his first name as Saleh but declined to give his family name. He said other attacks on suspected NTC sympathisers had been carried out.

They cut his lips

"One man, they cut him like this," Saleh said, dragging his finger from the ends of his mouth across his cheeks. "Another, they cut his lips."

Humanitarian groups have expressed concern about the situation in Sirte, and the fears have been compounded by reports from NTC fighters who say their family members inside have been prevented from leaving.

Hafed Makhlouf, a resident of Misrata, said his nephew had been executed in Sirte after he was accused of helping the NTC forces.

He said he received the news from some of his family who were still inside the city and were trying to escape. "They're afraid of coming out and being detected by the enemy and executed by them," he said.

Other fighters from Misrata also said they had family stuck inside but had no way of communicating with them.

Misrata, a port city west of Sirte, withstood a devastating siege earlier in the Libyan civil war that killed more than 1 000 residents. Most of the fighters now surrounding Sirte have come from there.

The fleeing resident who did not give his name said families linked to Misrata had been targeted particularly by Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte.

Hospital not working

"Really, the situation is not good," he said, shaking his head and staring out the windshield of his car.

Accounts from inside Sirte could not be independently verified as journalists have not been able to move beyond the outskirts of the city held by NTC forces.

A spokesperson for Gaddafi, who contacted Reuters on Thursday, said it was the anti-Gaddafi forces, and Nato warplanes, which were killing people in Sirte, not the other way around.

"Between yesterday and this morning, 151 civilians were killed inside their homes as the Grad rockets and other explosives fell upon their heads," the spokesperson, Moussa Ibrahim, said in a satellite phone call to Reuters in Tunis.

"The city hospital stopped functioning altogether last night. Patients died simply because nothing can be done to help them."

  • Hilary Ojukwu - 2011-09-22 17:51

    Is this story true of false? I am asking because you guys have lied so many times about Gaddafi.

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 19:07

      lied about what exactly ????? why would this story not be true. gaddafi's thugs are probably killing NTC sympathizers. and I wouldnt believe anything gaddafi or Moussa says.

      Anton - 2011-09-22 20:47

      Hilary, Nearly fell of my chair....!! Where you been??..Organising demonstrations all over Africa?? ( hope you had more succes than the one in Pretoria, someone said, there it looked like, a few people waiting for a bus!!!!! ) Well at least your hero is a man of his word....!! "The blood of the Rebels ( aka oppostion ) will flow in the streets of Libya" "We will go door to door to flush out these rats ( aka opposition )" This THUG/WAR CRIMINAL is resposible for the deaths of -----------30 000 Libyans--------- and he is STILL encouraging his last handful of followers to give their lives to "the king of Africa". while he is hiding in a hole , and using his R100 Nokia to phone some 3rd rate Syrian TV station, to spew out some more of his garbage!!!!!

      slg - 2011-09-22 21:17

      No, you've blinded yourself about Gadhafi. Seeing the truth now perhaps?

      Libya S.O.S. - 2011-09-23 02:21

      and npw with evidence news - NATO SLAUGHTERING CHILDREN IN SIRTE - "To the Libyan people: this is your chance." Obama said. [22. September 2011. Sirte, Libya]->

      slg - 2011-09-24 15:27 is not a credible news source. It's run by the brutal dictator Gadhafi's followers.

  • aman - 2011-09-22 17:53

    Oh you pro Gaddafi loyalists, what say you about this shocking turn of events. If Gaddafi gave a $hit about the people he would leave quietly. It now proves he is a raging frikkin psychopath.

      Liberty - 2011-09-22 18:33

      He's a scumbag that doesn't give a F*** about anything but his own ego. In his words "it's the duty of each Libyan to die for me"

      Ryan - 2011-09-22 19:08

      aman, where have you been man ? this isnt the first of shocking events by gaddafi's men. and only realize now what Gaddafi is ???

  • Libya S.O.S. - 2011-09-23 02:16

    ????? About what you speak ? On which planet you are "journalist"? Shame on you .Over the past 2 weeks, NATO and the rats have suffered 16 major losses: 1. The Libyan Defense Forces re-captured Brega. That's the oil port where they ship out oil. It's what NATO wanted to capture, and hold, more than anything. They have NEVER been able to hold Brega, and it is now in the hands of Gaddafi. .. In Sirte NATO killing civilans try to find videos about NATO and NATO-LED REBELS .. and when you will write the name of your soucre. NATO and gangs aka rebels killing libyans and this is only and BIG truth . look -- > -

      slg - 2011-09-24 15:27

      Same non-credible news source that is run by Gadhafi loyalists.

  • Libya S.O.S. - 2011-09-23 02:21

    news with evidence from Sirte -> Libya Sirte [15/16 / 17/18/19/20 September 2011. ] War cime of NATO and NTC rebels - >

      Anton - 2011-09-24 11:41

      "Old" Libya supporter, You are very confused, Give it up, Your rotten hero, is hiding in a whole, and most Libyans wish, he will never crawl out of there. Your comments are as insane, as someone would say, and direct you to some cheap conspiracy sites, that the Nats, are just about reclaiming SA, from the ANC. THAT and YOUR comments, are dumb, stupid and plain childish!!!!!

      slg - 2011-09-24 15:28

      Clutching at straws, really.

      MobBim - 2011-09-26 11:51

      Libya S.O.S don't mind them because devil is playing mind games with them I don't see any logic Why nato use air strike to attack their enemies while while the say they are protecting the civilians actually they are killing the civilian more than the enemis

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