Libyan rebels have been celebrating the capture of Misrata airport after prolonged and intense fighting with troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
The taking of the airport is a major gain for the anti-Gaddafi fighters, as the rebel-held city has been under siege from Gaddafi’s troops for nearly three months.
But celebration has its dangers as our reporter Alberto Arce explains:
“We must go now because there are thousands of gunshots in the air to celebrate taking Misrata airport. It means that Misrata has been liberated from the force of Colonel Gaddafi.”
As rebels consolidate their hold on the city, Gaddafi’s forces are said to be around 15 kilometres from Misrata.
People who fled the fighting are beginning to return as the full horror of life in the besieged city begins to emerge. One resident told reporters:
“We have been imprisoned by Gaddafi’s soldiers for three months, encircled without water, gas or electricity…There is no food; we have been forced to eat grass and leaves, Gaddafi’s henchmen have destroyed our homes, made off with our gold, our money. God will help us to achieve victory.”