TUNIS - About 160 people have been killed in the besieged city of Misrata over the past week in fighting between rebels and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces, a doctor said on Saturday.
Misrata is the last big rebel stronghold in western Libya but after weeks of shelling and encirclement, government forces appear to be gradually loosening the rebels' hold on the city, despite Western air strikes on pro-Gaddafi targets there.
"160 people, mostly civilians, were killed in fighting in Misrata over the last seven days," a doctor who gave his name as Ramadan told Reuters by phone from the city, after consulting other medics at Misrata's hospital.
Ramadan had no figure for the total deathtoll since fighting began six weeks ago. "But every week between 100 and 140 people are reported killed -- multiply this by six and our estimates are 600 to 1000 deaths since the fighting started," he said.