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

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease 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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid