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

Christ Embassy Church Issues Gets Hotter As Pastor Oyakhilome's Brother Rev. Ken, Impregnates His South African Mistress

The crisis rocking the Christ Embassy Church is about to get messier as The Nigerian Times claims that Rev. Ken Oyakhilome, younger brother of Pastor ... Full story

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome's Divorce Getting Messier: Christ Embassy Deletes All Anita Oyakhilome's Data From Website

Latest findings  indicates that Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Christ Embassy has removed every information about his estranged wife, Anita from the church’s website. This is ... Full story

Clara Chime, Enugu State First Lady Apologizes To Husband In Public

Wife of Enugu State gov­ernor, Mrs. Clara Chime, who, last year, quit the Governor’s Lodge, where she lived with Governor Sul­livan Chime after she alleged ... Full story

Ebola In Port Harcourt: Three New Suspected Cases Involving A Pharmacist, Doctor And A Nurse

Three people have been taken to the Ebola Virus Disease quarantine centre at Oduoha, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. The State Commissioner for Health, ... Full story

Negotiator reveals some powerful Nigerians don’t want Chibok girls released

There are indications that some who is who in the country are sabotaging the efforts of the Federal Government to ensure that the over 200 ...

Chris Oyakhilome's divorce splits Christ Embassy church members

Members of the Christ Embassy are divided over a divorce suit filed against the Senior Pastor of the church, Chris Oyakhilome, by wife, Anita, in ...

Ebola Outbreak: 39 immigrants from DR Congo, Sierra Leone arrested at two hotels in Lagos

Lagos-At least 39 foreign nationals were yesterday arrested by Police and Immigration officers in two hotels on Lagos Island. It was gathered that they were arrested ... Full story

Maheeda - ‘I Had S3x With Davido’

Just when you think you’ve seen and heard it all from Maheeda, she digs into her bag of mischief for more tricks. A few weeks ... Full story

Pastor Chris Oyakhilome's Wife Files For Divorce On The Grounds Of Adultery!

Nothing hides forever. May God forgive me, but I have said it here before that Pastor should come open and tell us if marrying More ... Full story

National Universities Commission Publishes List Of Illegal Universities In Nigeria

The National Universities Commission (NUC) wishes to announce to the general public, especially parents and prospective undergraduates, that the under-listed “Degree Mills” have not been ... Full story

Nigerian immigrants seeking asylum under harsh conditions in Pretoria, South Africa - Video

Here are some photos and a video shot that captures the plight of Nigerian immigrants seeking asylum under harsh conditions in Pretoria, South Africa. According to ... Full story

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

Rate this article

0

Featured author

Paula Obiewkwe

Breaking News

Yoruba Traditional Ruler, The Alaafin Of Oyo and His Four Beautiful Wives

One thing is clear; the respected Yoruba traditional ruler married these four women legitimately, by going to their individual family and paying the bribe price ...

Shan George Blasted By Son

Recently, there has been a serious war between Shan George and the London-based music promotion outfit of his son, Jaga, Babylynn Promotions, over the release ...

Tiwa Savage's stunning outfit to the NEA awards last night + early pics

Do you have a story/gist for publication? Please email it to story@nigeriafilms.com abeylyncon | 9/1/2014 10:23:01 AM This is the 1st time am seeing Anty Tiwa in ...

PSquare - Ejeajo [Official Video] ft. T.I.

This new video "Ejeajo" is nothing but testament to that fact. Raising the bar a bit higher this time around, PSquare went all out to ...

COMEDY UNLIMITED: OBASANJO CREATES DRAMA AT LADOJA’S HOUSE IN IBADAN!

Last Friday, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo paid a condolence visit to former Oyo State governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, at his Ondo Street residence in Bodija, ...

SURVIVOR OF BOKO HARAM GWOZA POLICE TRAINING COLLEGE ATTACK TESTIFIES IN T.B. JOSHUA’S CHURCH

The widely reported Boko Haram insurgency attack on Wednesday 20thAugust 2014 at a Nigerian Police training college in Gwoza, Borno State left few survivors. Omereji ...

Ladies Abandon Their Boyfriends To Hold Me- Charles Awurum

Nollywood actor, Charles Awurum must have a strong fan base with the ladies more than the males. In a recent interview when he was asked ...

Fathia Balogun Opens 'House of Faiteer' Beauty Shop.

Yoruba actress and ex-wife of actor Saidi Balogun, Fathia Balogun Williams is now a proud owner of a beauty and wine shop named 'House of ...

"If I Can Be Great, Yes! You Can" Toyin Lawani Empowers Women

Celebrity stylist, Toyin Lawani has called out women who do nothing but gossip, do senseless conversation, chain smoking, drink excessively and have friends who do ...

Stella Damasus Speechless As Daughter Takes After Late Husband

Nollywood actress, Stella Damasus, best known for her social media activism on the challenging issues facing the country, has relaxed her voice as she is ...