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Libya: civilians flee Misrata as rebels claim victory

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Libya: civilians flee Misrata as rebels claim victory


Libyan rebels in besieged Misrata have claimed victory after forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi withdrew from the front line.

The situation in the city, however, remains grim with civilians, mostly foreign nationals, still desperately trying to flee the port city. At least 26 people were killed on Saturday, on top of the estimated 1,000 that have already died, according to human rights groups.

One migrant trying to escape the fierce fighting said: ‘‘A lot of things have happened, we’ve suffered a lot in Misrata because of the war that’s happening, we’ve suffered a lot.’‘

The leadership in Tripoli has insisted NATO airstrikes meant it no longer made sense for the army to continue fighting in Misrata. It has said local tribes could now take over.

Nevertheless, the retreat of Gaddafi’s forces from Misrata surely marks a major shift, although the overall trend of conflict in Libya is far from clear.

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