Ajdabiyah is on the eastern front in Libya’s five-week-old uprising. Beyond its borders, a road lined by rebels gives little hint of their fierce fight to regain control, said to be raging inside the strategic city.
But residents are fleeing amid reports of gunfire and shelling and claims that Muammar Gaddafi has cut off power and water supplies.
“Civilians plight in Ajdabiyah is getting worse as the days go on,” said one man, speaking through the window of a car, heading away.
“God will bless those who have right on their side and God will deal out justice to those people,” he added, referring to the Colonel’s forces.
Rebels’ inability to retake positions now held by government troops has been put down to their lack of experience, leadership and poor equipment. At a training camp in Benghazi, recruits eager to join the revolution are schooled in the basics.
Elsewhere in the rebel stronghold, insurgents have been parading men they say are captured Gaddafi soldiers. Some of the prisoners insist they are innocent migrant workers. Others say they were forced to fight.