Libya rebels 'take border post'
Thursday 21 April 2011
A Libyan rebel leader claims that opposition forces have taken control of a post on the Tunisian border near a former rebel-held town.
The reported capture of the Dhuheiba border crossing could open important channels to the nearby desert town of Nalut, about 140 miles south-west of the capital Tripoli.
The town was in the hands of anti-government forces last month before Libyan troops moved in.
The rebel leader, Shaban Abu Sitta, said the border post was taken after three days of intense battles with government soldiers outside Nalut.
The claim could not be independently verified.
Muammar Gaddafi's forces have sharply restricted the movement of journalists in the areas they control in western Libya.
Meanwhile, on the Ionian Spirit ferry - part of a maritime lifeline to Misrata - Libyan civilians and migrant workers packed the decks, hallways and all other available space.
The injured were brought to the lower level of the ship, where an 11-member medical team set up a makeshift intensive care unit.
Jeremy Haslam, a co-ordinator from the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration, said the boat has more than 1,000 evacuees including 239 Libyan civilians and 586 migrants from Niger and others from Africa and Asia.
He said some Libyans tried to flee Misrata aboard a tug boat, but were turned away because the vessel was overcrowded. Some managed to get on board the ferry.
"We are carrying more than we are supposed to but it's better than letting these people leave on a tugboat," said Mr Haslam.
The number of people seeking to flee Misrata has surged as Libyan forces expand their shelling to areas once considered relatively safe havens from attacks.
"Our neighborhood became a war zone so we had to get out," said Faiza Stayta, who made it aboard the ferry with her husband and two children. "All the firing is random. You hear a rocket and how have no idea if it will come down on your house."
The vessel carried the bodies of Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, and British-born Tim Hetherington, co-director of the 2010 Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo that was nominated for an Academy Award. The film was co-directed by Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm.
They were killed yesterday in an attack that also injured two other photographers.
A statement from Mr Hetherington's family said he was killed by a rocket-propelled grenade.
The ship also held the body of a Ukrainian doctor killed yesterday in an artillery blast, said Mr Haslam.
The IOM is planning to send another ship to Misrata carrying 500 tonnes of food and medical supplies. It said it has evacuated more than 3,100 people from Misrata.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 2 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
- 5 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Greece elections: Greek PM Alexis Tsipras takes aim at 'neo-liberal' Europe as country gears up for prolonged austerity battle
Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary: Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
Pornhub star Mia Khalifa receives death threats after being ranked the site's top adult actress
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£16500 - £16640 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing Finance compa...
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: SURREY - SENIOR POSITION - An excellent senio...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Inbound & Outbound Sales Age...
£20 - £25 per hour: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a hu...