Rebels: Gadhafi forces pushed back

MISURATA, Libya, May 9 (UPI) -- Rebels said Monday they have pushed troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi back from the outskirts of Misurata.

Word came as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen was in the United States to discuss Libya and other issues. NATO has been providing air support for the rebels to mitigate civilian casualties.


Misurata, the only city in western Libya under rebel control, has been besieged by government forces for two months.

The BBC quoted Libyan state television as saying NATO aircraft bombed targets in Misurata and Zlitan Monday.

NATO said in a statement it destroyed a number of the government's mobile rocket launchers and missiles Friday near Sirte.

"We've pushed Gadhafi away from Misurata," a rebel calling himself Mohammed told the BBC.

"People are getting back to a safe life. Many families are going out of the houses for shopping. Many families are going back to houses they left before when this started."

The BBC said a Red Cross ship has brought baby food and other supplies to the city.

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