Misrata under heavy bombardment, Libyan rebels say

Rebel spokesman says Gaddafi forces retreating from coastal city after siege of almost two months; rebels claim victory day before.

April 24, 2011 14:37
1 minute read.
An MQ-1 Predator unmanned aircraft in Iraq.

Armed UAV predator drone 311. (photo credit: Courtesy of US Air Force)

ALGIERS - The western Libyan city of Misrata came under heavy bombardment on Sunday by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, a rebel spokesman said.

Government forces had retreated in the coastal city of Misrata after a siege of nearly two months and rebels fighting to overthrow Gaddafi had claimed victory there on Saturday.

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"The situation is very dangerous," rebel spokesman Abdelsalam said by telephone from Misrata.

"Gaddafi's brigades started random bombardment in the early hours of this morning. The bombardment is still going on. They targeted the city center, mainly Tripoli Street, and three residential areas."

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He gave no indication of casualties in the bombardment. Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the fighting for Misrata.

The rebel spokesman said that NATO planes, which have been bombing Libyan positions for more than a month, had been seen flying over Misrata but there was no sign of air strikes.

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