After ceasefire, Libyan attacks by Gadhafi forces continue
Pro-Gadhafi forces continue to target civilians in attacks, in spite of the recent ceasefire, according to opposition leader.
This story was originally covered by PRI's The Takeaway. For more, listen to the audio above.
A ceasefire was recently announced in Libya, but attacks in the country are continuing. Marie Colvin, foreign affairs correspondent at the Sunday Times of London, has received reports of shelling in Misurata, Libya's third largest city, and shelling, though not by air, on Benghazi.
"We're still hearing the sounds of tanks and heavy artillery in the city," Libyan opposition leader Saadoon al-Misraty told PRI's The Takeaway, who was in Misurata. He says that pro-Gadhafi forces have stationed "snipers on the roofs of tall buildings across the city Misurata " in what he calls "a move to terrorize the city."
"The bombardment and the artillery fire was all targeted at residential units... schools, mosques, and ambulances," al Misraty says. And the fighting hasn't ended.
The ceasefire was a "tricky but wise move on Libya's part," according to Colvin. It makes further international action against the Libyan leader less likely. "It also kind of lets him off the hook," according to Colvin, "because he can survive easily without Benghazi and without Misurata."
Gadhafi has "billions in cash in Libya, and he's also got the port of Tripoli, and he's got offshore oilrigs to continue pumping the oil," Colvin says. With those resources, Colvin says he doesn't need cities like Benghazi and Misurata to survive.
International action, and the subsequent ceasefire, are still quite new in Libya, so Colvin says the situation could change. " The announcement was just made within the last few hours in Libya that they would put in place a ceasefire," Colvin says. "So I think we need to give it a little bit more time."
Opposition leader al Misraty is calling for "surgical strikes and attacks" by the international community "on specific targets of his militias, of his bases of where he operates from."
In spite of the ceasefire, al Misraty is urging people: "Don't buy what Gadhafi is trying to sell. He's only trying to buy time."
"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.