Libyan Rebels Say They Control Port City of Misrata

May 15, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya –  Libyan rebels have taken full control of the western port city of Misrata, rebel fighter said Sunday, but suggested it was too early for them to consider advancing to try to confront Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi’s forces around the capital.

Meanwhile, the head of Britain’s armed forces, Gen. David Richards, urged NATO to widen the range of targets the alliance’s planes are allowed to hit in the effort to stymie the Qaddafi’s regime’s attacks on protesters. Richards’ remarks, published in The Sunday Telegraph in London, warned that “more intense military action” was needed or the conflict could end in stalemate.

In Misrata, rebel fighter Abdel Salam described the situation in Misrata as static.

“The situation is almost frozen, as the rebels are in full control over Misrata,” he said. “The rebels are not engaged in any major fighting fronts with Qaddafi forces.”

He denied earlier, conflicting reports suggesting that that rebels were advancing toward the western city of Zlitan, which would be the next step on the road to the capital Tripoli.
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