News / Africa

Gadhafi Forces Pound Rebel Positions in Ajdabiya, Continue Siege of Misrata

Libyan rebel fighters load a truck with ammunition on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya, Saturday, April 16, 2011.
Libyan rebel fighters load a truck with ammunition on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, Libya, Saturday, April 16, 2011.

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Colonel Moammar Gadhafi have been shelling rebel positions in and around the eastern town of Ajdabiya, reportedly advancing to the outskirts of the city.  Gadhafi forces also continue to pound the besieged port city of Misrata, inflicting considerable damage.  

Witnesses say Gadhafi forces fired long-range rockets into the Libyan town of Ajdabiya, causing many rebels to flee their positions. Al-Jazeera TV reported that the ongoing rocket assaults allowed Gadhafi’s men to advance towards the outskirts of the town.

Reuters news agency indicated that scores of rebel vehicles were fleeing Ajdabiya, along with large numbers of civilians, towards the main rebel-held city of Benghazi.

The sustained rocket attacks appear to have caused a reverse of momentum after rebel forces tried to move Saturday on the Gadhafi-held town of Brega.  An opposition said Gadhafi’s men were hiding in a chemical factory in Brega, which NATO planes were reluctant to bomb.

Saturday, rebel military commander and former Gadhafi interior minister Abdel Fattah Younes told al-Arabiya television his men were closing in on Brega and were hoping to take the town within 24 hours.

In the besieged western port city of Misrata, witnesses say Gadhafi loyalists continued to pound the city with mortar shells, killing 17 people on Sunday.  The city has been without water and electricity for days and thousands of people have abandoned their houses for safer areas around the port.

Libyan government TV showed U.N. special representative and former Jordanian foreign minister Abdel Ilah Khatib meeting in Tripoli with loyalist Prime Minister Bagdadi Mahmoudy.  The TV report said the men "discussed the ongoing foreign aggression against Libya."

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim also told a conference in Tripoli that the Libyan government would respond to recent accusations of war-crimes by allowing independent outside groups to visit Libya and investigate.

He says Libya will allow international non-governmental organizations to visit and see for themselves that no crimes against humanity have been committed, with the exception of those committed by the rebels who have raised arms against the legal government.  He also accuses NATO of committing war-crimes by bombing civilian targets.

Foreign journalists who have visited the Libyan capital in recent weeks complain they have been unable to investigate important stories in crucial locations without a government escort.

Human Rights Watch accused Gadhafi loyalists of using cluster-bomb munitions Saturday in the city of Misrata.  Many countries have banned the use of the weapons, which can wreak havoc against civilian populations.  A rebel spokesman told the Reuters news agency Colonel Gadhafi’s forces fired at least 100 of the explosives into an industrial area of Misrata.

Discuss this story and others on VOA forums

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid