Shelling leaves city with little food

May 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM
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MISURATA, Libya, May 3 (UPI) -- Ships carrying humanitarian aid for Libya are unable to dock at Misurata because of missiles and tank fire from government forces, observers said.

The bombardment by leader Moammar Gadhafi's troops has left the coastal city with dwindling medical and food supplies, Britain's The Guardian reported Tuesday.

"We know the only way to keep Misurata alive is to keep the harbor open," said Hafed Makhlouf, controller and ship pilot of the port. "Gadhafi realizes this too, and knows that the only way to extinguish the revolution is by starving the people."

A ferry chartered by the International Organization for Migration has been forced to wait offshore since Saturday morning.

It was due to collect at least 800 African workers who have been trying to escape Misurata for weeks.

More than 30 hospital patients, four of them in intensive care, are also waiting to board the ship.

Monday's shelling came as crowds gathered in Tripoli for the funeral of Gadhafi's son Saif and three of his grandchildren who died in a NATO airstrike on Saturday.

Their deaths trigger reprisal attacks on the French and British embassies in Tripoli and the United States Diplomatic Mission.

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