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Tripoli struggles to cope with power and petrol cuts

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Tripoli struggles to cope with power and petrol cuts


Traffic appears normal in central Tripoli but away from the streets, life in the Libyan capital is becoming increasingly difficult.

On top of NATO air raids, the city is now suffering from power cuts and piles of rubbish are growing higher by the day.

Many households have to prepare rechargeable hand lamps for light. Others have no air conditioning during peak summer heat and no refrigeration as they prepare for evening meals during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Even in tightly-controlled Tripoli, where foreign journalists are trailed at all times by government minders and prohibited from reporting freely, there are signs the scarcities are fueling resentment against Gaddafi.

“No one is buying anything,” shopkeeper Adel said bleakly in his darkened, deserted shoe store in the Ghut al-Shaal neighbourhood of western Tripoli, where power was out on Saturday afternoon. “This is the worst Ramadan of my life,” he added.

The government says the power cuts and petrol shortages are the result of smuggling, rebel attacks on pipelines and NATO airstrikes on power lines – which the alliance denies.

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