Evacuees describe Misrata as hell. Pictures of the besieged city from YouTube gives some idea of what they are talking about.
The footage features damaged buildings, tanks in the streets and the shattering sound of attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces.
Misrata has been encircled and under fire by troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi for weeks. Hundreds of people have been wounded and killed.
UN-mandated air strikes to protect civilians in Misrata, the only major rebel stronghold in western Libya, have failed to halt tank and sniper fire. Residential areas are said to be being targeted.
“Corpes are in the street,” said one escapee. “Hospitals are overflowing.”
Libyan officials deny attacking civilians, saying they are fighting armed gangs linked to al Qaeda.