News / Africa

Clashes Reported in Several Libyan Cities

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.

Fighting is being reported in at least three Libyan cities Saturday, including the besieged port of Misrata, where living conditions continue to deteriorate. Human rights groups are also accusing Gadhafi loyalists of using cluster bombs in the city.

Desperate residents of the besieged rebel-held city of Misrata express their grief and anguish as the battle for the city continues unabated. Witnesses report shelling and rocket attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces around Misrata port where hundreds of civilians have been hunkering down.

Al Jazeera TV showed images of buildings around the port ablaze, with fire coming out their windows, after an intense rocket barrage. Witnesses say large portions of the city have been abandoned due to the intense shelling and hundreds of families are living in cramped conditions, without running water and electricity.

The group, Human Rights Watch,  is also accusing pro-Gadhafi forces of using dangerous cluster bombs, banned by most countries, in Misrata. Human Rights Watch spokesperson Emma Daley says an observer from the group witnessed Gadhafi forces using what she thinks were cluster bombs.

"We actually witnessed what we believe were three cluster munitions strikes a couple of nights ago over a populated neighborhood of Misrata. And, we interviewed a couple of witnesses who believe that they saw cluster munition attacks on earlier occasions. And finally, our researchers in Misrata found physical evidence. They found sub-munitions from cluster munitions that they were able to identify as a Spanish weapon manufactured in 2007," he said.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim, however, denies that Gadhafi forces are using cluster bombs, insisting that it would be foolish to do so, since the evidence would be obvious. "We challenge them to prove this. To use these bombs, you know, the evidence will remain for days and weeks and we know the international community is coming en masse [to] our country soon. So, we can't do this. We can't do anything that would incriminate us, even if we were criminals," he said.

Ashraf Mohammed, an Egyptian man who worked in Misrata and was recently evacuated by sea to the rebel-held city of Benghazi, describes conditions in the city before he left. He said that more than 80 missiles fell on Misrata port, in the 24 hours before he was evacuated from the city. He notes that even more shells fell on the rest of the city, and three Egyptian workers were killed in the attacks.

Mohamed Abu Tunyan, a worker from Bangladesh, explains that the shelling and the lack of food and water made living conditions dire for himself and hundreds of other Bangladeshis. He said he and about 1,500 other Bangladeshi workers were hiding in the Masna steel factory in Misrata for about 15 days. He complains that the shelling on the port area, along with the lack of food and water made living conditions extremely difficult.

Heavy fighting was also reported Saturday around the eastern city of Ajdabiya. Rebel forces have reportedly taken some new ground from Gadhafi loyalists on the road to the oil port of Brega. The fighting comes amid a recent flurry of diplomatic activity, and conferences in Berlin, Cairo, and Doha, Qatar.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings 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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid