News / Africa

UN Seeks Access to Libyan 'Injured and Dying'

A wounded fighter is brought into a the Ras Lanuf Hospital from the battle in Bin Jawad on March 6, 2011.
A wounded fighter is brought into a the Ras Lanuf Hospital from the battle in Bin Jawad on March 6, 2011.

The United Nations is calling on Libya to allow it immediate access to the rebel-held western city of Misrata, following reports of fighting and deaths in the area.

U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos said Sunday that people "are injured and dying and need help immediately."  She also called on all sides of the conflict to "ensure that civilians are protected from harm."

The U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the Red Crescent Society in Benghazi reported that Misrata, 200 kilometers east of Tripoli, is under attack by government forces, and that the Libyan Red Crescent is trying to get ambulances from Tripoli in to collect the dead and injured.

Libyan leader Moammmr Gadhafi's government has retained control of Tripoli in western Libya, while rebel forces trying to topple his government have taken over much of the east.

Protests against Mr. Gadhafi erupted in mid-February, with demonstrators calling for an end to his 42-year rule.  The Libyan leader has refused demands to step down, at one point saying he expects to die a "martyr."

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