Politics & Policy

Qaddafi Shells Towns as Rebels Pinned Down in East

Reuters is reporting that Qaddafi forces have been concentrating attacks on the towns of Misrata and Zintan, with casualties including four children killed when their car was shelled by tanks:

In the latest fighting on Tuesday, Gaddafi’s tanks shelled the rebel-held western town of Misrata and casualties included four children killed when their car was hit, residents said, adding the death toll for Monday alone had reached 40.

Residents painted a grim picture of the situation in Misrata which has been under siege by Gaddafi loyalists for weeks, with doctors operating on people with bullet and shrapnel wounds in hospital corridors and tanks in the city center.

“The situation here is very bad. Tanks started shelling the town this morning,” a resident, called Mohammed, told Reuters by telephone from outside the city’s hospital, adding: “Snipers are taking part in the operation too. A civilian car was destroyed killing four children on board, the oldest is aged 13 years.”

Meanwhile, Rebel forces are still positioned just outside Adjabiyah, despite the continuance of Western airstrikes:

 

At the frontline in the desert scrub about 5 km (3 miles) outside the town located at the gateway to the rebel-held east, fighters said air strikes were helping to cripple Gaddafi’s heavy armor. But there was no sign of a swift drive forward.

 

 

When asked why rebel units had not advanced toward their objective, which is the eventual taking of Tripoli, Ahmed al-Aroufi, a rebel fighter at the frontline, told Reuters: “Gaddafi has tanks and trucks with missiles.”

Nat Brown is a former deputy web editor of Foreign Affairs and a former deputy managing editor of National Review Online.

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