The UN is calling on Libya’s National Transitional Council troops not to take revenge as they launch their biggest assault yet on Sirte, the hometown of Muammar Gaddafi.
After weeks of sporadic forays into the town the battle appears to be entering a final stage, with the complication that many people are still trapped inside.
UN Special Envoy Ian Martin is urging NTC fighters not to indulge in any retaliatory actions that violate human rights.
“Well, of course, all along we have been concerned for the fate of civilians caught in the fighting in Sirte and it is extremely important that the fighting ends in a way that respects the goals of the leadership of the NTC, not to take revenge,” he said.
On the outskirts of Sirte, civilians can be witnessed making efforts to get away from the fighting. Conditions in the town have reportedly become increasingly desperate in what has effectively been a siege of this last bastion for Gaddafi loyalists.