Clashes in Sirte as families return

Fighters continue bombarding Sirte while families return to damaged houses.

By REUTERS
October 16, 2011 13:48
Libyan Tank

Libya Tank 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
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Libyan government forces kept up their bombardment of a small area in the center of Sirte with multiple rocket launchers.

Tanks and anti-aircraft guns were also used.

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But there was little sign of a major push from the infantry to take full control of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown.

Some families decided to head back to Sirte, only to find their homes in ruins.

"We were afraid, God help us, we were afraid to die. We were afraid the houses would collapse on our heads so that's why we fled, leaving everything behind," said one resident.

The often chaotic struggle has cost scores of lives and left thousands homeless.

The failure to seize the final Gaddafi bastions has also held up the attempt by Libya's new leaders to try to build a democratic government, a process they say will begin only after Sirte is captured.

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