Kadhafi tanks firing on Misrata homes: rebels



BENGHAZI- The battle for Misrata raged on Saturday, with rebels accusing Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's forces of "crimes against humanity" after they fired rockets indiscriminately on the besieged city.
Kadhafi's tanks targeted inhabited areas and houses in Misrata, a rebel spokesman in the coastal city east of Tripoli told AFP by telephone, calling on the international community to halt the onslaught.



"These are true crimes which must be stopped. Kadhafi troops are endangering civilian lives and using prohibited weapons," he charged.
The veteran Libyan leader's forces tried to enter the besieged city from three fronts, but were thwarted by insurgents, said the spokesman.
Loyalist troops tried to enter Misrata from the north on a coastal road from the capital using tanks and heavy artillery, while rooftop snipers fired on anyone on the street.
A sniper shot dead a civilian in his car and also wounded his passenger, while rebels killed seven snipers from Kadhafi's forces, the spokesman told AFP.
Two rebels died in fighting in Misrata's northwest, while on the city's eastern side Kadhafi's forces fired heavy artillery and tried to enter with tanks but faced strong resistance.
In their retreat, loyalist forces abandoned Israeli-made rocket-propelled grenades, which were gathered by the ill-equipped insurgents.
No NATO air support was witnessed Saturday in Misrata, although planes could be heard in the area, the spokesman said.
He added that he believed the coalition bombed Kadhafi loyalists' rearguard, although this could not be confirmed.
As of Friday, 28 people had died in fighting in Misrata and dozens had been wounded, including residents of other African countries.
Rebels reported Friday that Kadhafi's forces had "tried to reach the port, destroying everything in their path," possibly to stop outside aid from reaching the beleaguered city.
The Libyan foreign ministry said Monday that an anti-rebel offensive in Misrata had been stopped after security was restored.
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Sunday, April 3rd 2011
AFP
           


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