Saturday, April 16, 2011

DTN News - CIVIL WAR IN LIBYA : Race To Capture Misrata

DTN News - CIVIL WAR IN LIBYA : Race To Capture Misrata
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - April 17, 2011:

Moammar Gadhafi's forces poured rocket fire after dawn Saturday into Misrata, the only western city still in rebel hands, and weary residents who have endured more than a month of fighting angrily lashed out at NATO for failing to halt the deadly assault.

Five civilians were killed in a 30-minute barrage of shelling that heavily damaged a factory for dairy products and sent up a thick column of black smoke, a doctor said. A human rights group has accused the Gadhafi regime of using cluster bombs in Misrata – munitions that can cause indiscriminate casualties and have been banned by most countries. The Libyan government and military denied the charge.

In eastern Libya, fierce fighting left seven rebels dead, 27 wounded and four missing as the anti-Gadhafi forces sought to push toward the strategic oil town of Brega, according to Mohammed Idris, a hospital supervisor in the nearby city of Ajdabiya. The battle took place on a road halfway between Ajdabiya and Brega.

Frustration was growing among residents in Misrata, where Mr. Gadhafi's troops have intensified their long siege of the city in recent days. The doctor sharply criticized NATO for failing to break the assault with its month-old campaign of airstrikes.

“We have not seen any protection of civilians,” the doctor said. “NATO airstrikes are not enough, and the proof is that there are civilians killed every day here,” he said.

The theme was echoed in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, where spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga told a news conference: “There's no more room for hesitation or for not standing with determination against what is happening in Misrata and other Libyan cities, because the destruction that Moammar Gadhafi is causing in Libyan cities is great and extensive.”

Rebel fighters in eastern Libya were less critical of NATO. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the rebels' National Transitional Council, said this week that without the airstrikes, even Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the rebels' main stronghold, would be in “complete danger.”

The Misrata doctor said Mr. Gadhafi's forces are taking shelter in residential areas that civilians had fled, apparently confident that NATO won't risk attacking them there.

But the troops have so far been unable to fully occupy the city of 300,000 people, he said, so instead they are targeting sites such as the dairy plant or the port to prevent the arrival of humanitarian aid.

The doctor, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared government retribution, said a civilian who was brought to him had been nearly torn in half by a mortar shell and was not expected to live.

NATO officials have said it is difficult to strike Mr. Gadhafi's forces when in an urban area. NATO did say its strikes on Friday destroyed two tanks in the Misrata area.

At a news conference Saturday night in Tripoli, Maj. Gen. Saleh Abdullah Ibrahim denied that the Libyan military is using heavy weapons in Misrata.

When asked whether the NATO airstrikes have had an impact on the Libyan forces, he said he did not know.

“I am a member of the regular armed forces. This type of information is only in the higher ranks of the armed forces,” he said.

Ibrahim confirmed that prisoners had been taken, but would not say how many.

Rebels in Misrata and the New York-based group Human Rights Watch have alleged that Gadhafi's forces have been using cluster bombs, which pose particular risk to civilians because they scatter small bomblets over a wide area. Most of the world's nations have banned the use of the munitions.

Human Rights Watch said its researchers inspected remnants of the weapons found in a Misrata neighborhood and interviewed witnesses.

Maj. Gen. Ibrahim said the accusations were “unfounded,” adding that Libya did not have “these kinds of weapons in our depot, and no single Libyan has been trained on this.”

Related News

Rebels question NATO as fighting continues

CNN International - Reza Sayah, Fred Pleitgen - ‎6 minutes ago‎
By the CNN Wire Staff Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's daughter Aisha addresses a crowd in the capital Tripoli on April 15. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi were bombing Ajdabiya from 40-50 kilometers (25-31 miles) away, Libyan rebel ...

Kadhafi forces pound Ajdabiya

Bangkok Post - ‎21 minutes ago‎
Libyan regime forces pounded rebels with heavy artillery west of Ajdabiya on Sunday, forcing hundreds of residents and some fighters to flee the key crossroads town, as a refugee rescue operation in Misrata was under way. The intense bombardment of ...

Libyan rebels claim control over Ajdabiya - ‎42 minutes ago‎
Anti-government fighters in the eastern town face attacks from Gaddafi's forces as sandstorm prevents Nato air raids. Rebel fighters in Libya say they have captured Ajdabiya, but government forces are reported to be pounding the eastern town as battles ...

Rebels say Gaddafi forces bombard Misrata, six killed

Reuters Africa - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian SFAX, Tunisia, April 17 (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's forces bombarded Misrata heavily for a fourth day on Sunday, rebels said, and evacuees said conditions inside the besieged Libyan city were becoming increasingly desperate. ...

FACTBOX-Latest military activity in Libya

Reuters Africa - ‎1 hour ago‎
BRUSSELS, April 17 (Reuters) - Following are the latest available details of military activity in Libya. For full Reuters coverage of the Libyan conflict click on [nLDE72H00G]. * Rebels came under fire on the outskirts of Ajdabiyah on Sunday, ...

Libya: Gaddafi Forces 'Batter' Rebel Town

Sky News - ‎1 hour ago‎
Libya's third largest city Misratah is "under seige" by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi forces amid renewed claims they have been using cluster bombs. To view this content you need Flash and Javascript enabled in your browser. Please download Flash from the ...

Misery continues for Misrata as bombs fall

euronews - ‎1 hour ago‎
Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi have continued to pound Misrata for a fourth consecutive day. This amateur video appears to show some of the destruction inside the city. According to rebels, food industry plants have been the targets of the latest ...

Pitched battles between rebels and Gaddafi forces for Brega - ‎2 hours ago‎
PTI | 07:04 PM,Apr 17,2011 A Red Cross team, led by Jean-Michel Monod who has headed the ICRC delegation in Tripoli for the last few weeks, reached the town to assess the situation.Hundreds of Asian and African migrants, who had left Misurata for ...

Gaddafi must be made to go

The Australian - ‎2 hours ago‎
If any doubt remained about the monstrous nature of Muammar Gaddafi's regime and why NATO must expedite his departure, reports of anti-personnel cluster bombs fired into residential areas in Misratah put an end to it. Correctly, Human Rights Watch, ...

Rebels Gain Ground in Misrata

Wall Street Journal - Sam Dagher - ‎2 hours ago‎
TRIPOLI—Rebels gained new ground in Misrata over the weekend while a military spokesman for the regime denied the use of heavy weapons or cluster munitions there, even as forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi pounded the embattled city ...

Rebels wait on arms for Libya fight

Sydney Morning Herald - Maher Chmaytelli - ‎2 hours ago‎
LIBYAN rebels said they expected to receive heavy weapons in their battle to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi as forces loyal to him shelled the coastal city of Misrata. Opposition forces yesterday advanced again on the oil town of Brega after four days of ...

Qaddafi forces shell Ajdabiyah, pound Misratah as stalemate hardens

Christian Science Monitor - Kristen Chick - ‎2 hours ago‎
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's loyalists shelled the key eastern city of Ajdabiyah and fired on the only western rebel stronghold of Misratah as NATO airstrikes hit the capital, Tripoli. A rebel fighter sits atop a pick-up truck loaded with ...

Libyan conflict Kosovo war all over again

Edmonton Journal - ‎3 hours ago‎
By Lorne Gunter, Freelance April 17, 2011 6:20 AM Then, as now, there was a great rush to enter the conflict, largely because of media-driven claims of human rights abuses. A dozen years ago, the allegation was ethnic cleansing of Kosovar Albanians by ...

Qaddafi Forces Shelling Ajdabiya

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - ‎3 hours ago‎
Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi were said to be shelling the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya, the scene of battles between the two warring factions for several weeks. Hospital officials in that eastern port said eight people were killed and ...

Rebels Flee Key Libyan Town

New York Times - Rod Nordland - ‎3 hours ago‎
AJDABIYA, Libya — Rebel fighters fled this city Sunday after a rocket and artillery attack by government forces that were reportedly on the western outskirts. Scores of rebel pickup trucks and other vehicles could be seen leaving the...

Deadly Clashes in Eastern Libya

Voice of America - ‎4 hours ago‎
Libyan rebel fighters load a truck with ammunition on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya, Saturday, April 16, 2011. Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi fired rockets at rebel positions near the eastern city of Ajdabiya Sunday. ...

Libyan Rebels Seek Heavy Weapons as Forces Loyal to Qaddafi Pound Misrata

Bloomberg - Maher Chmaytelli, Peter S. Green - ‎4 hours ago‎
Libyan rebels said they expected to receive heavy weapons in their battle to overthrow Muammar Qaddafi as forces loyal to him shelled the coastal city of Misrata. ...

Gaddafi troops shell rebel city

The Press Association - ‎4 hours ago‎
Troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are shelling the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya, a strategic eastern town that has been the scene of intense fighting in recent weeks. The government bombardment of Ajdabiya marks a setback for the rebels, ...

Pinned Down in Battered City, Libyan Rebels Endure With Grit and Dirt

New York Times - Cj Chivers - ‎4 hours ago‎
Rebels in Misurata, Libya, checked for pro-Qaddafi forces from a destroyed shop on Saturday. They said dozens of government snipers were operating in the area. More Photos » By CJ CHIVERS MISURATA, Libya — Muftah Militan, a rebel with his wounded right ...

Gaddafi troops outflank rebels

Al Jazeera - ‎5 hours ago‎
As fighting continues for Brega, home to several oil facilities, forces loyal to long time leader Muammar Gaddafi skirt that body of fighting and attack Ajdabiya from the south. A large sandstorm has prevented NATO aircraft from targeting the troops, ...

Libyan rebels launch raids

Sydney Morning Herald - ‎5 hours ago‎
Libyan rebels said they had mounted successful raids on Muammar Gaddafi's troops in the besieged western city of Misrata as loyalist forces pounded them in the eastern town of Ajdabiya on Sunday. Smoke from what a witness said was a destroyed regime ...

Gaddafi forces shell Misrata, at least six killed - rebel spokesman

Reuters - ‎6 hours ago‎
CAIRO, April 17 (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's forces shelled the beseiged western city of Misrata on Sunday, killing at least six people, a spokesman for the Libyan rebels told Al Jazeera television. Spokesman Abdel Basset Mezerik said at least 47 ...

Libya rebels launch raids in west, targeted in east

Montreal Gazette - ‎6 hours ago‎
Libyan rebels are seen through their independence flag at the western gate of the town of Ajdabiya on April 16, 2011, as rebels push to regain the oil rich town of Brega from forces loyal to Libya's strong man Moamer Kadhafi. ...

Gaddafi forces attack rebels on Ajdabiyah outskirts

Reuters Africa - Alexander Dziadosz, Tom Pfeiffer - ‎6 hours ago‎
AJDABIYAH, Libya, April 17 (Reuters) - Muammar Gaddafi's forces fired rockets on Sunday at Libyan rebels stationed outside the eastern strategic town of Ajdabiyah, witnesses said. One witness said he saw around a dozen rockets land around the western ...

Evacuees speak of horror of Misrata

euronews - ‎6 hours ago‎
The misery of Misrata continues with no relief in sight, although the Libyan rebels say they are making progress along the coast road leading west to Brega. There Gaddafi loyalists have taken up positions inside houses within the town to gain ...

Gadhafi forces shell east Libyan city of Ajdabiya

The Associated Press - ‎6 hours ago‎
AJDABIYA, Libya (AP) — Troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday shelled the rebel-held city of Ajdabiya, a strategic eastern town that has been the scene of fierce fighting in recent weeks. The government bombardment of Ajdabiya marked a ...

US reportedly seeks refuge for Gadhafi as fighting in Libya intensifies

Deutsche Welle - ‎7 hours ago‎
The United States has reportedly started looking for a country that will host Moammar Gadhafi once the Libyan leader is forced out of power. Meanwhile, his troops continued to pound the besieged city of Misrata. The United States has begun to search ...

Libyan rebels make play for strategic oil port

Ottawa Citizen - Michael Georgy - ‎8 hours ago‎
Libyan re-bels pushed toward the strategic oil port of Brega while Moammar Gadhafi's forces pounded besieged Misrata to the west with rockets and mortars. Rebels said Gadhafi's forces were ensconced in the ...

children 'main victims' of bombs - ‎9 hours ago‎
A Libyan child sits playing on the canon of a destroyed tank in the strategic oil town of Ajdabiya east of Tripoli. Libyan rebels return from the battle field outside the oil rich town of Ras Lanuf. Smoke billows as seven explosions rocked the Libyan ...

Gaddafi forces lay siege to Misrata - ‎9 hours ago‎
Fighting has intensified in the Libyan port of Misrata, as government forces attempted to retake the city after a two-month siege. Fighting has intensified in the Libyan port of Misrata, as government forces attempted to retake the city after a ...

*Speaking Image - Creation of DTN News ~ Defense Technology News
*This article is being posted from Toronto, Canada By DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News