Hundreds of thousands of civilians in Misurata and Sirte are caught in the middle of advances and counter offences of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s troops and rebel forces, pushed to attack by coalition force air strikes, said MISNA sources, defining it “the worst phase of the conflict”.
According to the various sources, fighting is underway in Misurata, a strategic port 200km from Tripoli, where Qadhafi’s forces are apparently attacking.
There is growing concern also for residents of Sirte, Qadhafi’s birth city, where rebel forces are advancing.
According to some missionaries in the city, the people can only escape by sea but there are no boats ready to load them.
The situation is also very difficult for the many foreigners, mainly Ukrainian and Filipino workers. “The harshest battle could take place shortly”, said a missionary to MISNA.
The British, US and French warplanes yesterday bombed the Sebha region again, 750km south of Tripoli, in an attempt to destroy an army weapon depot.
MISNA sources in the capital said that there were no air strikes overnight, but that the situation remains tense and uncertain.
In a statement a few hours ahead of the London meeting, Qadhafi called on the coalition to “stop the barbaric and unjust offensive” that is “destroying” Libya.