Red Cross: Aid needed in Libya

Oct. 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM
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SIRTE, Libya, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Humanitarians say aid is still needed in Sirte, Libya, where Moammar Gadhafi loyalists are exchanging fire with members of the National Transitional Council.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says a team was able to enter the town to deliver urgently needed medical supplies, but had to leave for security reasons before assessing further humanitarian needs.

"The conditions under which medical personnel have had to work over the past weeks have been extremely difficult," said Hichem Khadraoui, who headed the operation. "The hospital is facing a huge influx of patients, medical supplies are running out and there is a desperate need for oxygen. On top of that, the water reservoir has been damaged."

NTC fighters hold positions about 3 miles outside of Sirte and have seized the town's port, military base and airport, The Tripoli Post reported. Gunfire has caused casualties to both sides of the dispute as well as civilians.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said reports of his capture are false during a phone interview with Syria-based Arrai television. An NTC source confirmed Ibrahim's claim Saturday, telling China's Xinhua News Agency the man is still at large.

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