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Sirte facing tragedy as supplies run out

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Sirte facing tragedy as supplies run out


Civilians are fleeing Sirte in ever greater numbers as Libya’s National Transitional Council has warned them they have two days to get out before they launch a major offensive.

Despite the ceasefire fighting has intensified as government forces try to flush out the remaining Gaddafi diehards, and the Red Cross is warning that the city faces a major humanitarian disaster, although it was able to get a convoy of medical supplies in on Saturday. Both water and food are scarce.

Bombardments escalated in the west and east. NATO planes have also been hitting targets.

“The revolutionaries camping at the frontline of Sirte have given residents two days to leave the city, which will allow for the evacuation of large numbers of civilians,” said NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil.

Parts of the city are quieter, and its second airport Mitiga was even cleared for the first international flight to enter the country since August. Turkish Airlines got special permission to enter the no-fly zone with a commercial flight, and several Libyan businessmen said they were heading out.

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