for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
Oil report

UPDATE 1-Libyan govt forces launch attack on Misrata-rebels

* Government attacks Misrata, rebels and residents say

* Town is last rebel holdout in western Libya

(Adds quotes, details)

RAS JDIR, Tunisia, March 12 (Reuters) - Libyan government forces launched an attack on the town of Misrata on Saturday, seeking to retake the last remaining rebel holdout in the west of the country, rebels and residents told Reuters.

“They are trying to get into Misrata, they are now 10 km away,” rebel spokesman Gemal said by telephone.

“We are hearing shelling. We have no choice but to fight,” he said.

Another rebel, Mohamad Ahmed, said he could hear the sound of anti-aircraft guns getting closer to the city centre. A resident, who gave his named only as Mohammed, confirmed an attack by Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists was under way.

“I think they are 5 km from the town now, I can hear loud explosions. Everybody is rushing home, the shops have closed and the rebels are taking positions in the neighbourhoods,” he said.

Rebels and residents had been bracing for a government onslaught in Misrata after Zawiyah, the only other town in western Libya which openly defied Gaddafi’s four decade rule, was recaptured by his forces this week. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny in Ras Jdir and Tarek Amara in Tunis; Writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Matthew Jones)

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up