Last updated: 11 August, 2011

Libya rebels hit trying to take heat off Misrata

Libyan loyalists killed one rebel and wounded 10 others as the insurgents moved on the town of Taurga in a bid to snuff out rocket fire on the besieged city of Misrata, medics said on Thursday.

Inside the western port city, many streets were deserted as residents sought respite indoors from the summer heat during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, an AFP correspondent said.

But along Tripoli Street, the city’s main thoroughfare, a few people could be seen sorting through the detritus of months of shelling and fighting, looking for belongings or just tidying up the mess.

But attacks are a nearly a daily occurrence, with rockets ploughing into homes and office buildings with only moments’ notice and undoing what meagre clean-up efforts existed.

The street has been devastated by tank fire, Grad rockets and thousands upon thousands of Kalashnikov rounds. Every building bears the scars of the fighting, and life has been slow to get back to normal since rebels took the city more than three months ago.

Meanwhile, doctors in the frontline town of Zliten, to the west of Misrata, said there has been little fighting in recent days, with only one serious injury reported on Wednesday.

Rebels had taken up defensive positions in the Souk Talat area of the city, which the regime of strongman Moamer Kadhafi claimed in recent days was entirely under its control.

Fresh fighting meanwhile erupted on Wednesday at the strategic oil town of Brega, in eastern Libya, an AFP correspondent said.

Mortar rounds and rockets struck intermittently on both sides of the front at Brega, one of the three main focuses in the Libyan conflict, with the other two at the enclave of Misrata and the Nafusa mountains to the west.

Brega is home mainly to oil facilities, refineries, ports and a residential area.

Rebels have been fighting since February to oust Kadhafi, who has been in power for four decades.