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Fighting Shows No Signs of Easing in Libyan City of Misrata


Mourners react during the funeral of rebel Ahmed al-Barasi, who they say was killed in Misrata by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, in Benghazi, April 27, 2011

Mourners react during the funeral of rebel Ahmed al-Barasi, who they say was killed in Misrata by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, in Benghazi, April 27, 2011

Fighting continues in the besieged, rebel-held Libyan city of Misrata, as a United Nations panel pursues an inquiry in Libya into violence and abuses committed during a government crackdown on the opposition.

Clashes were reported overnight in Libya in several places between rebel fighters and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Opposition sources said Gadhafi's forces have been firing rockets at Misrata and the western town of Zintan following NATO airstrikes to halt government attacks on Misrata's port. The port is the only access for international aid into the battle-torn city.

On Wednesday, a NATO warplane mistakenly attacked a rebel position on the front lines in Misrata, killing 12 fighters and wounding several others.

Meanwhile, a three-member commission sent by the U.N. Human Rights Council is in Libya seeking access to prisons and hospitals to interview possible victims of the crackdown by Libyan forces.

The U.N. General Assembly suspended Libya's membership in the Human Rights Council last month following the government's violent repression of opposition protesters.

The United States Treasury has moved to authorize oil and gas deals with the opposition's Transitional National Council.

Wednesday's order aims to clear up concerns over legal complications related to international sanctions placed on Libya.

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