BEIRUT - Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi bombarded Misrata with rockets and artillery on Monday and 17 people were killed in the previous day's shelling of the besieged Libyan city, a rebel spokesman said.

As the fighting raged, a ship put into the Misrata port and took off nearly 1,000 migrant workers and wounded Libyans, who had been waiting to leave in ever-worsening conditions.

Libya's third-largest city -- the insurgents' last major stronghold in the west of the country -- has been under siege by pro-Gaddafi troops for about seven weeks. Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in Misrata and thousands of migrants are stranded there.

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