TRIPOLI - Western warplanes hit Libya for a fifth night on Thursday, but have so far failed to stop Muammar Gaddafi's tanks shelling rebel-held towns or dislodge his armor from a strategic junction in the east.
Gaddafi's tanks rolled back into Misratah under the cover of darkness and began shelling the area near the main hospital, residents and rebels said, resuming their attack after their guns were silenced in daylight hours by Western airstrikes.
Government snipers in the city, Libya's third largest, were undeterred by the bombing raids though and had carried on firing indiscriminately throughout, residents said. A rebel spokesman said the snipers had killed 16 people.
"Government tanks are closing in on Misrata hospital and shelling the area," said a doctor in Misrata who was briefly reached by phone before the line was cut off.