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Besieged Misrata rebels plea for NATO to help

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Besieged Misrata rebels plea for NATO to help


Under siege and under attack: dramatic new images show Libyan rebels in Misrata defending themselves against bombardment from Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

For seven weeks they have been keeping at bay government troops surrounding Libya’s third largest city.

A rebel spokesman says 17 people were killed in Sunday’s shelling.

A US-based human rights group accuses government forces of launching indiscriminate attacks on residential areas.

One rebel commander says they have tried in vain to get NATO to intervene. Ten times over the past month they have called to give co-ordinates, he says, but had no reply.

Conditions in Misrata are described as dire, with shortages of food, medicine, water and power. The only route out is by sea. Aid workers helped dozens flee at the weekend.

Meanwhile diplomatic efforts continue. Valerie Amos, the UN’s Deputy Secretary General, is in Benghazi after failing in Tripoli to get the bombardment of Misrata to stop.

“I’m extremely worried about the situation there, I very much hope that the security situation will allow us to get into Misrata. Nobody has any sense of the depth and scale of what is happening there,” she said.

This amateur film shows the aftermath of an attack on a hospital in Misrata.

The hospital’s director says a thousand people have died in the city in six weeks of fighting.

The British government says it is to help charter ships to aid the evacuation of 5000 migrant workers who are stranded.

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