Gaddafi tanks pound Libya siege city

2011-05-02 11:05

Misrata - Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi launched a new armoured incursion into the besieged rebel city Misrata on Monday after overnight clashes killed at least six people, the rebels said.

"Gaddafi's tanks are attempting to enter the city through Al-Ghiran," a south-western suburb near the airport of Libya's third largest city, a rebel official said.

At least four or five tanks, which had been concealed at the government-held airport to avoid Nato air attacks, were engaged in the offensive, another rebel official said.

AFP correspondents in the Mediterranean port city heard heavy tank fire from 06:00 (04:00 GMT), answered by heavy machinegun fire from the rebels.

"We have counted six dead and several dozen wounded," said a medical official at around 09:30 (07:30 GMT) after the overnight clashes. The official had no immediate word on how many of the casualties were civilians.

"We have seven intensive care beds but at the moment there are eight who need them," another medic said.

"The eighth is having to make do without a respirator and the nurses are having to help him breathe manually. If we get another critically ill patient, he will die," said the doctor, a Western volunteer.

The last major rebel bastion in western Libya, Misrata is surrounded by pro-Gaddafi forces and is entirely dependent on supply by sea.

Loyalist troops have repeatedly pounded the city's port, killing two rebel fighters on Sunday alone, witnesses said.

  • Ross - 2011-05-02 12:33

    This criminal will have to be snuffed out quickly as he is on a killing spree. The AU seems to be very quiet or do they approve of his actions?

  • Marcell - 2011-05-02 13:06

    Quiet diplomacy.

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