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Rebels: Gadhafi Days Away From Retaking Misrata

European troops may enter besieged city
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 5:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – The last western Libyan city still in rebel hands is likely to fall to Moammar Gadhafi's forces within days unless NATO steps up its intervention, a rebel spokesman says. Misrata has been under seige for seven weeks and its people are like "rats in a cage," the spokesman tells the Guardian, claiming that there have been no NATO attacks on the Gadhafi forces that surround the city for several days. Witnesses say Gadhafi's troops have continued to pound Misrata with rockets and artillery.

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“We tried to blow up the buildings (where Gadhafi forces lurk), but we don’t know how,” a rebel tells the Washington Post. “We threw homemade bombs in there, but it didn’t do anything. We wish NATO would bomb the buildings.” There are major shortages of food, medicine, and water in the city, and while the United Nations' humanitarian chief says Gadhafi's government has promised her access to the beseiged city, it has provided "no guarantees with respect to my call for an overall cessation of hostilities, to enable people to move, to enable us to deliver supplies." The EU has outlined a plan to send European troops to Misrata to protect aid deliveries if requested to do so by the UN, reports Reuters. (Read more Libyan rebels stories.)

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