Libyan doctor claims Nato air strike 'killed 12 rebels'
Thursday 28 April 2011
A Nato airstrike has killed 12 rebels in the besieged city of Misrata in the latest friendly fire incident in Libya's chaotic battlefield, a doctor in the city said Thursday.
The airstrike was on Wednesday, the second day of intense fighting around Misrata's Mediterranean port — the city's only lifeline to the outside world. A steady stream of boats have been bringing in humanitarian aid through the port and ferrying out hundreds of wounded civilians and foreign migrant workers who were trapped when the fighting broke out two months ago.
Dr. Hassan Malitan said he believed the attack was a mistake but insisted it was caused by Nato aircraft. He said the attack came moments after he and another doctor visited a site where rebels were holed up in a building about three miles (five kilometers) east of the port.
Malitan said he was surprised to see rebels so far east, and said they assured him that they had been in contact with Nato forces about their location.
"We drove about 200 meters (yards) and we heard a huge explosion that shook the earth," Malitan said. He said he looked back and saw smoke rising from where they had just sat with the men. As he and the other doctor began slowly driving back toward the building, a second missile crashed into it, Malitan said.
"We started crying and screaming out their names," he said. "It was clear that the missiles came from the sky and we heard the airplane," he said.
There was no immediate comment from Nato.
But airstrikes on Tuesday and Wednesday had been targeting forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to halt an advance on the port. Gadhafi's forces pummeled different parts of Misrata throughout the day Tuesday with a near-constant barrage of heavy shelling and rocket fire. By Wednesday, residents said the bombardment had eased some, though fighting went on.
Misrata is the only city in government-controlled western Libya where rebels have been able to hold out against a two-month siege by some of Gadhafi's best trained forces.
Aid agencies and human rights groups have sounded alarm bells about a growing humanitarian crisis inside the city and Nato has publicly acknowledged it needs to do more to protect civilians in Misrata.
But the coalition has also talked about the difficulties of targeting Gadhafi's forces around the city, saying they are mixing in with civilians to make it more difficult to identify them.
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
- 5 35,000 walrus gather ashore on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Five facts you never knew about your (almost obsolete) tax disc
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...
£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...
Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...