Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gadhafi loyalists launch new push against Misrata



Forces loyal to embattled Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi launched a new attack on the rebel-held city of Misrata on Wednesday, with anti-government forces reporting intense shelling from three sides of the city.

Thousands of government troops attacked around 6 a.m. (11 p.m. Tuesday ET), with 13 rebels reported dead by evening. Mohamed Mokhtar, a rebel fighter wounded in Wednesday's fighting, accused government troops of infiltrating rebel lines in cars bearing rebel flags.

Dr. Khaled Abu Falgha, a spokesman for Misrata's Hekma hospital, said it was the bloodiest day in a week in the besieged city. More than 1,000 people are believed to have been killed since the fighting began there in February, including 686 registered residents of the city, he said.

Rebel fighters returning from the front lines reported that their defenses were holding up under the onslaught, however. (read more)