Heavy fighting breaks out in Misrata suburb

Clashes between rebel fighters and pro-Gaddafi loyalists spread to outskirts of Libya city; six fighters reported wounded.

By REUTERS
May 27, 2011 12:50
1 minute read.
Libyan rebels

Libyan rebels 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

 
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MISRATA, Libya - Rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi engaged in fierce fighting on the Western outskirts of the city of Misrata on Friday, a Reuters reporter said.

The reporter said he could see white puffs of smoke and dust from where mortars fired by pro-Gaddafi forces were landing.

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The rebels responded by firing back with rockets and heavy machine guns, shouting "Allahu Akbar!", or "God is Greatest!", after each volley.

A medical worker on the rebel side said that six fighters had been wounded in the fighting, two of them critically.

"We are being attacked from all sides with rockets, RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) and mortars," said Faraj al-Mistiri, 36, a rebel fighter.

"It started between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m. They have advanced. It's normal to and fro. They are trying their hardest to get back into Misrata," he said.

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Misrata is Libya's third-largest city and lies about 200 k.m. east of Tripoli.

It is the biggest rebel stronghold in the west of the country and has been the scene of some of the fiercest fighting in Libya's three-month-old conflict.

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The rebels have pushed pro-Gaddafi forces out of the center of the city, but they are still attacking from positions on the outskirts.

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