Desperate resident of rebel-held Misrata describe horror inflicted by Gaddafi troops

Monday, March 28, 2011
By Paul Martin

A resident of Misrata, the rebel-held enclave under siege by Gaddafi troops for weeks, has painted a terrifying picture of life in the city and urged Nato to arm the rebels
By Adam Lusher

Speaking by telephone from the town in western Libya, with artillery fire audible in the background, the 29-year-old housewife who lives half a mile from the city centre, described the situation as “desperate”. She feared it was only a matter of time before the civilian population was massacred.
Clearly distressed, the mother of a young child said: “The windows are shaking here. The artillery fire is very heavy now. There are plumes of smoke in the sky. The regime forces are in Tripoli Street, the main street of the city. They have snipers on the high buildings.

“The situation is horrible. There are dead bodies in the streets and no one can recover them because of the heavy fighting.

“The artillery fire is indiscriminate. They are burning down people’s houses while they are inside. If you drive around the city you see houses – civilian houses – that have been hit with black smoke coming out of the windows. Eight days ago, my aunt’s balcony was hit by what we think was a tank shell. She lives there with her husband and seven children.

“We think they are taking people from the streets. My husband’s 22-year-old nephew went missing nine days ago. All we have found of him is his car and his mobile phone.”

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