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Family Members Killed as Civilians Flee Libya's Sirte


Anti-Gaddafi fighters push forward towards the center of Sirte during heavy fighting, October 1, 2011.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters push forward towards the center of Sirte during heavy fighting, October 1, 2011.

Shelling has killed at least three members of a family, including a child, near the Libyan town of Sirte where civilians are trying to flee heavy fighting between provisional government forces and Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists.

Medical officials say the family's vehicle was struck Saturday as it was stopped in traffic while driving out of the besieged hometown of Gadhafi. It is unclear which side launched the explosive.

The coastal town is one of the few remaining holdouts for the former leader's loyalists. National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters have been engaged in several weeks of intense clashes with Gadhafi's well-armed supporters.

Meanwhile, international relief workers are trying to gain access to Sirte, where they say there is a severe shortage of medical supplies, food and water. On Thursday, the Red Cross said about 3,000 displaced Sirte residents were in a desert area about 30 kilometers east of the town.

On Friday, Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini met with NTC leaders in Tripoli and promised his country would work to unfreeze about $3 billion in Libyan assets. He said the money could help fund projects intended to rebuild the country.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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