Carnage 'beyond imagination' in Misrata, says witness

// Africa | Carnage 'beyond imagination' in Misrata, says witness
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Libyan forces pounded parts of Misrata on Tuesday, with tanks firing mortar shells and troops using heavy artillery in an effort to retake control of the city, a witness told CNN.

Coalition planes circled overhead but did not strike the tanks, he said.

As representatives of numerous countries met in London to decide the next steps in the Libya effort, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi showed no sign of letting up his effort to crush the rebellion that seeks an end to his nearly 42 years in power.

The day after Gadhafi's regime tried to convince journalists that it was in control of Misrata by taking them on a trip to part of the city but not allowing them into the city center, his troops were killing and wounding civilians and evicting thousands of people from their homes, the witness told CNN.

"The carnage and the destruction and the human suffering from both the evictions and... terrorizing the city -- it's beyond imagination," said the witness, an opposition councilman in Misrata, in western Libya east of Tripoli. "It's incredible."

Gadhafi forces did not even allow people to take belongings with them from their homes, he added. "They tell them, 'Run for your lives,' and fire bullets just above them."

Troops are looting the homes, he said.

CNN could not independently verify the witness' descriptions.

Meanwhile, rebels in Bin Jawad battled Gadhafi forces and came under a hail of artillery and rocket attacks, an opposition source said.

CNN saw rebel fighters streaming back out of the city. One said the barrage was too much for the opposition to withstand, and that Gadhafi loyalists had infiltrated the city.

A man in car that drove by a CNN crew in the area shouted, "Gadhafi will be back."

The violence came the day after U.S. President Barack Obama delivered an address explaining his decision to commit U.S. forces to the U.N.-authorized military mission in Libya.

"To brush aside America's responsibility as a leader and -- more profoundly -- our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are," Obama said. "Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as president, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action."

The president cited what could have been a massacre in Benghazi, which has become an opposition stronghold in Libya.

The witness in Misrata on Tuesday, in an interview with CNN, pleaded for coalition forces to strike Gadhafi's forces in that city.

"We call on the international community, especially the American forces and the American people, to please save Misrata from a massacre," he implored.

Gadhafi's forces were "advancing in all directions of the city," the witness said.

Battles have been under way in Misrata for weeks.

Off the coast of Misrata, U.S. military planes fired at three Libyan boats, destroying one and damaging the other two, military officials said in a statement Tuesday. The Libyan ships were targeted because of reports that they were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels in the port of Misrata on Monday, the statement said.

Libyan state TV had a banner Tuesday saying, "Civilian and military locations in Misrata, Tripoli, Zaltin, Mazda and al-Watiya are being bombed by the crusaders and colonial enemies."

The central group representing the opposition and working to plan a new government if Gadhafi were to fall issued a statement Tuesday describing its "vision of a democratic Libya."

"We have learned from the struggles of our past during the dark days of dictatorship that there is no alternative to building a free and democratic society and ensuring the supremacy of international humanitarian law and human rights declarations," the statement from the Interim National Council said.

The group representing numerous areas throughout Libya has been meeting in Benghazi

In the statement, the council vowed to draft a constitution, guarantee key rights to every Libyan citizen, respect freedom of expression, and establish "a state that draws strength from our strong religious beliefs in peace, truth, justice, and equality."

Much of the statement focused on promises to build a better economy that would eradicate poverty.

The CIA World Factbook says about a third of Libyans live at or below the national poverty line.

The council issued its statement in coordination with the meeting in London.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with a leader of the council Tuesday at meeting, part of a U.S. effort to expand ties with rebel leaders fighting to oust Gadhafi.

It was the second meeting in less than two weeks between Clinton and the Libyan Interim National Council's Mahmoud Jabril, a former head of Libya's economic planning council.

The United States will also send a liaison to the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi to open up a more direct line of communication with members of the opposition, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday. The official did not say when.

The U.S. government has spent about $550 million on the Libya effort, the Pentagon said Tuesday, adding that about 60% of that went to munitions. Another $40 million is expected to be spent over the next three weeks. Then, costs are expected to be about $40 million per month, said Pentagon spokeswoman Cmdr. Kathleen Kesler.

More than 40 foreign ministers and representatives from regional groups attended the conference Tuesday in London, including U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Chairman of the African Union Jean Ping.

"The purpose of this conference is to broaden and deepen the coalition effort," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "We all want to see that cease-fire. We all want to see Gadhafi go. Those things are clear. But once we have that cease-fire, we have something to work with."

Opposition fighters have credited coalition airstrikes with helping them advance in their rebellion.

Organizers of the conference said it will look for ways to strengthen the U.N. Security Council resolution approved on March 17 that created a no-fly zone above Libya and mandated the protection of civilians. They will also search for urgent ways to get humanitarian aid to war-torn cities like Misrata.

NATO plans to take full control of the Libya mission by the end of the week.

"Our mandate is very clear. We're there to protect civilians against attacks. No more, no less," NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told CNN.

CNN's Reza Sayah, Arwa Damon, Nic Robertson, Paula Newton, Maxim Tkachenko and Yousuf Basil contributed to this report

Tagged : Damian Green, Adeyemi Sowole, Van Plunges Into Lagos River

Headlines Newsview all

D'banj Dragged To Court Over Debt Mess

This are indeed not the best times for koko master, and has a matter of fact this is the first time I am hearing D’banj ... Full story

Femi Fani-Kayode insults Governor Rotimi Amaechi - 'You are a pot bellied, house boy, monkey and cultist'

In a Facebook post titled The Pot-bellied Creek Haramite And His Direct Threat, former Aviation minister Femi Fani Kayode slammed River State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, ...

Fresh Boko Haram Attack In Borno State Leaves 45 Dead!

At least 45 people were killed in a suspected Boko Haram attack in northeast Nigeria, officials and witnesses said on Thursday, in the latest violence ... Full story

Nebraska Man Erected A Roadside Sign That Read: 'Aids, Ebola, Obama. Thank You Africa'

A hateful roadside sign blaming Africa for disease and Barrack Obama was erected by a man near a highway in Minden, Nebraska, and was soon ... Full story

President Goodluck Jonathan Says Nigeria Is Winning Boko Haram War

President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said contrary to media reports, the Federal Government had started winning the war against the Boko Haram sect. He boasted that ...

T.B. Joshua Says He Has A Cure For Ebola

Sensational Nigerian Christian leader, Prophet T.B. Joshua, has thrown a challenge to the governments of countries where persons have contracted the Ebola virus, to invite ... Full story

Super Eagles Of Nigeria Crash Out Of 2015 AFCON

African champions Nigeria crashed out of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday after playing a 2-2 draw with Bafana Bafana of South Africa ... Full story

Pandemonium, Confusion In National Assembly, Speaker Of The House Aminu Tambuwal Tear-Gassed

Tension is mounting in the National Assembly as the House of Representatives reconvenes today for a special sitting. The assembly is under siege as armed security ...

Miss Honduras found dead after vanishing two days before she was due to fly to London for Miss World contest

Reigning Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado and her older sister have been found dead in a small village almost a week after their disappearance. The champion ... Full story

Katsina Governor Ibrahim Shema Caught On Video Urging Supporters To “Crush And Kill” Political Opponents

A video showing Katsina state governor, Ibrahim Shema urging and gearing his party members to physically assault and also kill opposition party members if they can has surfaced online.  The ...

Lagos Lawyer Sebastian Jidonu Seeks Justice Over Police Brutality

On October 18, when Sebastian Jidonu, a lawyer, walked into the office of the Area K Police Command in Morogbo, near Badagry to settle a ... Full story

Comment on: Carnage 'beyond imagination' in Misrata, says witness

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Mandy Heuman

Breaking News

Breaking News: ChazB Of Rhythm FM Confirmed Dead

Charles Bruce Chukuma, popularly known as Chaz B on Rhythm FM is dead. Chazb who was the anchor of sharinglifeissues on the Rhythm93.7 Network died early ...

Top Comic Trending Pics: Daddy Why Do You Always Go Out With Broom?

Disclaimer: Do not use this forum as a channel to promote hatred, tribalism or any other kind of personal grievances. The administration can delete or ...

I Don’t Wish to Get Married……Flavour Nabania

Nigeria’s handsome and female’s choice singer, Flavour Nabania, is well rated and widely adored with his style of music which keeps him on top of ...

Recipies: Learn to cook local Cow Tail Stew

Well prepared cow tail stew can be served with rice and it can also be used to prepare pepper soup Ingredients 3lb 5oz (11/5kg) cowtail trimmed and ...

Dejo Tunfulu Escapes Death As He Almost Bled To Death On Movie Location

This is painfully not the best of times for Yoruba actor, Mac-Tokunbo popularly known as Dejo Tunfulu. It was reported that the script interpreter was on ...

What is Funke Akindele & Malaika Not Telling Their Fans?

A particular suspicious picture of Nollywood actress Funke Akindele and her casual friend, Fuji star Suleiman Alao Adekunle Malaika has dominated the the Internet since ...

Marriage Has Made Me A Better Person- Charles Inojie

Nollywood star, Charles Inojie has indeed pitched a tent for himself in the make-believe world, thus needs no further introduction. The Edo-State born actor who doubles ...

Shan George Plans To Return To 'Jericho'

The latest Nollywood grandmother, Shan George is heading to greater heights in her movie career. The 2-time married actress who's first son just had a baby ...

Don Jazzy's Dorobucci Turned Into A Movie

Nigeria film industry never seem to stop amazing their fans and patronizers with different kind of adaptation of musics and turning them to movies. The had ...

Has Genevieve Nnaji Married Secretly?

Classic Nollywood super mama, Genevieve Nnaji has kept tongues busy since she was last spotted at the recently concluded Africa International Film Festival event that ...