Gaddafi forces bomb west Libya town to root out rebels

Shelling kills at least one person; ex-Libyan interior minister creates anti-Gaddafi "crisis team" in rebel capital of Benghazi.

By REUTERS
April 3, 2011 12:26
1 minute read.
A rebel fighter stands next a vehicle in Libya

Libya rebel 311 Reuters. (photo credit: REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

 
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TRIPOLI- Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi shelled a building in Misrata early on Sunday to try to dislodge rebels from their last big stronghold in western Libya where a doctor said hundreds have been killed.

Like many cities, Misrata rejected Gaddafi's rule in a revolt in February. In a violent crackdown, Gaddafi's forces restored control in most places in western Libya, leaving Misrata cut off and surrounded, with dwindling supplies.

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In the rebel capital of Benghazi in the east, the anti-Gaddafi council have named a "crisis team," including the former Libyan interior minister as the armed forces chief of staff, to try to run parts of the country it holds.

The rebel leadership has also called for the NATO-led air assault against Gaddafi forces to continue despite 13 rebel fighters being killed in a strike as they tried to take control of the eastern oil town of Brega.


The shelling in Misrata hit a building that was previously being used to treat the wounded from the fighting in Libya's third largest city and killed at least one person and wounded several more, a resident said.

"We have one confirmed dead and we don't know how many wounded. The ambulances are arriving now, bringing the wounded," said the resident, speaking by telephone from a building now being used as the makeshift hospital.

After weeks of shelling and encirclement, government forces appear to be gradually loosening the rebels' hold there, despite Western air strikes on pro-Gaddafi targets. The rebels say they still control the city center and the sea port, but Gaddafi's forces have pushed into the center along the main thoroughfare.

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