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Libya's War: Latest News.

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Libya's War: Latest News.

Mensaje por glezbo el Dom Mar 20, 2011 12:02 pm

News from the ongoing civil war in Libya telling telling the tale of a libyan family whose children had been injured in Ghadaffi's air raids. Wondering what would be Silvio Rodriguez stance on this matter, will he be on the butcher side or on the lamb's camp..??

Brought from the Mail Online internet's news pool.

Best regards to all.


If your country doesn't stop Gaddafi today he will kill all of us - and he will kill you too: How the savage assault on Benghazi proved 'ceasefire' was a lie.

It had been another sleepless night in Benghazi. The city was waiting in both defiance and dread for Gaddafi to carry out his threat of an attack ‘without mercy or compassion’.

By dawn yesterday, the relentless rattle of gunfire was being overtaken by the unmistakeable booms of multiple rockets. Gaddafi’s war was now on the outskirts of the city.

No one here had believed his Friday night announcement of a ceasefire to comply with the UN’s no-fly zone over Libya, but what I saw next put the grotesque lie into its full murderous context.

'Living hell': Mohab, nine, and Bariq, ten, were injured in the bombing, with shrapnel wounds pockmarking Mohab's face, right. Left: Another member of the Elbargathy family surveys the damage.

Wounded: Mohab, nine, lies in bed in the Jala Hospital, Benghazi, recovering after the bombing raid by the Libyan dictator's forces

Venturing out from our downtown hotel at first light, my photographer Ian McIlgorm and I saw frightened figures everywhere, and rebel militias hastily assembled at every major intersection.

Friends at the Auzo Hotel half a mile away told us by phone that they could see tanks rumbling across a road bridge to enter the city from the West.

Then a middle-aged man, stark fear in his eyes, stumbled towards me, his shirt soaked in blood. In broken English he told me how his house had been bombed in the early hours of the morning, and his wife and children hurt.

He took my arm and brought me into the Jala Hospital building, both of us taking steps up to the second floor two at a time.

As we hurried to the surgical ward, businessman Abdul Hakim Elbargathy said the bomb had demolished the roof of his home, raining shrapnel and chunks of concrete on to his wife, their small baby and their son and daughter.

‘If your country does not stop Gaddafi today he will kill us all, and he will kill you too,’ he said, shouting and crying at the same time.

‘This is our country and we want to live in peace. He is bringing his war to the innocent. My family is lucky to be alive. Only God has saved us.’

His nine-year-old son Mohab, his head swathed in bandages, his face pockmarked with shrapnel wounds, lay quietly in his hospital bed.

He whispered to his father that his shoulder and his arm hurt badly, but he couldn’t move because he was on a drip. He had a small brave smile for the English stranger at his bedside but all around him female relatives were weeping loudly.

Here, in one glance, was proof of Gaddafi’s devastating cruelty towards his people. I touched the boy’s hand, looked into his bewildered eyes and felt very relieved that I couldn’t speak his language. At that moment, overwhelmed, I couldn’t speak at all.

Suddenly, terrifyingly, the whine of a jet plane could be heard and the crying stopped. For a few breathless moments we watched the warplane swooping alongside the hospital building, then plunging to the ground one block away, sending up a huge plume of black smoke.

There was joyful shouting but also confusion. In the utter chaos of this stop-start civil war, it was not clear whether the rebel fighters had shot down one of Gaddafi’s warplanes.

Mahdy Beleid on top of a tank captured from Gaddafi's forces in Benghazi yesterday hours before coalition air strikes began

Only later did it emerge that it was probably a rebel jet, one of several liberated from a military air base, brought down by friendly fire or mechanical fault.

What is clear is that just hours after telling the world his country would comply with demands for a ceasefire, Gaddafi was sending planes to bomb a quiet residential street containing neither rebel militias nor any threat to his regime.

Mr Elbargathy, distressed and tearful, told how he had not slept the previous night.

‘I stayed up to watch television and see what is happening to my country,’ he told me.

‘My wife took our baby and our son and daughter to sleep with her. At 6am when I was praying, praying for an end to this hell we are living, I heard the terrible noise of a plane overhead. Then there was a loud crash and I ran into the bedroom to find huge pieces of concrete had fallen on top of my wife and children.

‘My wife had protected the baby with a pillow when she heard the noise, but my daughter Bariq, who is ten, had her arm broken and my wife is in a wheelchair today with a broken foot and a bad wound to her other leg.

‘My son Mohab is being brave but the doctors say he is in shock. He just stares at us, he can hardly speak. I don’t know how we will ever get through this.’

He said it was his decision not to take his family away from Benghazi to safety when peaceful street protests were greeted with violence by Gaddafi last month.

‘I have grocery shops here and a house-building business,’ he said.

‘This is our home and we work hard to have a nice life. We should not have to leave. Gaddafi must leave. He is a liar and a monster to his people. I know now for certain that he wants to see us all dead.’

Visiting the Elbargathys’ home in Benghazi’s smartest suburb, Hai Al Dollar, I saw the lumps of shrapnel and broken blocks of concrete which collapsed on to his family, and which could so easily have killed them. Neighbouring villas had windows shattered and walls damaged in the blast.

In the emergency ward at Jala Hospital there was further evidence of Gaddafi’s onslaught on Benghazi.

Fourteen civilian casualties were brought in while I was there in the early morning, carried out of cars and pick-up trucks by relatives, friends and hospital volunteers who ran across the car park with stretchers, ready to bandage or resuscitate.

Crowds on top of a tank which was captured by residents hours before Coalition military strikes began

Wounded: A civilian casualty is rushed to Jala Hospital, Benghazi, after being injured in fighting. At the same time, in Paris, an international coalition was organizing military action to stop the bloodshed.

For three of the wounded it was already too late. They went straight to the mortuary where hospital workers struggled to find space for them. Distraught family members wept helplessly. The sheer scale of their misery was heartbreaking to see.

All around me strangers were catching hold of my arm and pleading: ‘Where is the help from your country? We need your help now, we are being killed in our beds.’

A doctor grabbed both my hands. ‘Please, please can’t your people see what is happening? We will all die at Gaddafi’s hands and you promised to help. Where are your planes? Where is the help you promised us 36 hours ago? The tanks are coming into the city, rockets are being fired and there are warplanes over our streets and homes.’

Mohab Elbarghy and his father Hakim who were both injured in a bombing raid by Gaddafi forces in Benghazi when a bomb exploded on the roof of the room where the boy was sleeping.

He was crying bitter tears and there was nothing I could do but tell him help must surely be on the way soon. A surgeon, grey-haired Dr Ali Bashir, said he was a chest specialist who had been asked to come in to treat soldiers’ burns. ‘But all I have seen today is civilians, families – no fighters,’ he said.

‘These patients coming in today are war victims. They are innocent people trying to get to work on a Saturday morning. The shrapnel wounds are horrendous. We don’t have the answer for them. This has never been a war zone before.’

Standing in the hospital corridor, the groaning of the dying and the weeping of their families drowning out every other sound, he was shouting as he pleaded: ‘Tell your Government about today. Tell them there is no ceasefire. They need to come here and help us. Send them your pictures and tell them what you have seen. This is the reality, the lies of Gaddafi and his government.’

As I left, promising to tell of their desperate need for help, the rumble of tank and rocket fire began again, closer this time.

Benghazi is a city under siege. The hotels are begging journalists to leave, to reduce the prospect of a direct hit to their businesses.

Every war correspondent I meet here – many of them old friends from former conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq – is fearful in a way I’ve never seen before.

We are in a semi-functioning city where the residents come out in their thousands to pray in public together, where people greet each other warmly as brothers-in-arms, but where the overriding everyday sounds are not of traffic or family life or High Street shopping, but of rattling gunfire, booming explosions and the occasional scream of a warplane. Regrettably, none from the RAF.


Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Al Megrahi was among thousands evacuated in Libya yesterday.

The 58-year-old was moved from his family home in Tripoli to a secure unit. ‘We know targets are already being worked out by the West, and Brother Al Megrahi is certain to be high on the list,’ said an impeccably placed source within Gaddafi’s regime, which views the bomber as a national hero.

The source, who helped negotiate the convicted murderer’s 2009 release from a Scottish prison, added: ‘It would make life very easy for the West if Al Megrahi was no longer a problem – we will do everything we can to protect him.’

Plain-clothes police and armed soldiers were still visible around Al Megrahi’s home in the New Damascus district of Tripoli, but neighbours confirmed he had been moved. ‘The government does not want him here – it is too dangerous,’ said one.

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