Concerns are growing over additional civilian victims in what is now defined the Sirte battle. The fighters that over the past weeks have been conducting the offensive against the birth city of Muammar Gaddafi, today announced a withdrawal of around 2km to use heavy artillery. The aim of the measure is to avoid house-to-house fighting against the loyalists, but the risk is of more civilian casualties.
While aid agencies have been allowed to enter Sirte, in particular the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) that two days ago transferred some injured from the Ibn Sina Hospital to better equipped medical facilities, the situation of civilians is more complex and uncertain in Bani Walid, another stronghold of Gaddafi loyalists not far from Misrata.
Red Cross sources in Benghazi told MISNA that it is currently impossible to bring aid directly into the city and that so far they have provided medical provisions to the Misda Hospital, not far from the fighting.
Confirmation remains difficult on reports in circulation on the capture in Sirte of the Libyan Colonel’s son Mutassem Gaddafi. Sources close to the rebels told the international media that they could not confirm the reports, while loyalist sources entirely denied the reports, speaking of an intervention of Mutassim over the radio from Bani Walid.