Intense Fighting Raging in Misrata, Libya

Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s forces are attempting to break the two-month-long siege of the important port city of Misrata in Libya by intensifying its bombardment of the embattled western city.

A spokesman for the rebels accused Qaddafi’s forces of creating a humanitarian crisis in what is the single western city still held by the rebels. Doctors in Misrata confirm the spokesman’s statement by asserting that they are having serious trouble coping with the large number of casualties resulting from the unrelenting bombardment caused by the loyalist forces. Residents of the city have also confirmed reports of violent bombardment of Misrata which they claim does not discriminate between civilians and military personnel.

Alain Juppe, the French Foreign Minister declared yesterday that he believes a new United Nations resolution to force the Libyan leader to quit is not needed at this time, while the German Economy Minister Rainer Bruederle proposed the freezing of Libyan funds which would be sent instead to the UN to help pay for the aid being given to the victims of the conflict.

There is also intense fighting being reported in the eastern part of Libya as rebels, with the help of NATO air strikes, made progress from the town of Ajdabiya in the direction of Brega, an important oil city.

In Misrata it was reported that six people were killed and 31 hurt on Saturday, in addition to a comparative number on Friday. Six others died and 20 were wounded in Ajdabiya.