Libya crisis: Allies join fight for Libya city of Misrata

International forces have launched new air strikes near Libya’s rebel-held western city of Misrata, witnesses say.(bbc.co.uk)

Forces loyal to leader Colonel Gaddafi initially pulled back, but Misrata residents say snipers have continued to target people from rooftops.

Col Gaddafi’s forces also resumed their pounding of Zintan, near the Tunisian border, according to reports.

The fighting comes as Western leaders debate who leads the intervention, with the US keen to hand over to Nato.

A Misrata resident told Reuters by telephone: “This morning, air strikes twice hit the airbase where Gaddafi’s brigades are based.

“Two people were killed by snipers an hour ago in the centre of the town. Their bodies are now at the hospital, which I visited a while ago. Shooting is still going on there now.”

Witnesses said tanks

A doctor in the city also told the BBC that snipers were continuing to shoot at civilians, and confirmed at least one person had been killed.

Earlier, Col Gaddafi made his first public appearance in a week and gave a short speech to a crowd of supporters in Tripoli.

He urged “all Islamic armies” to join him, saying: “We will be victorious.”

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