19 April 2011
Various media reports confirm that heavily armed pro-Ghaddafi forces are attempting to violently seize the strategic port of Misurata and to permanently cut off supply lines to the civilian population of Libya’s third largest city. The attack on Misurata’s port facilities is taking place along three main axes:
Along Tripoli street, which provides direct access to the airport from the north and which leads directly to the city centre. Having been the scene of much bitter fighting over the past month, well entrenched government sniper teams are still preventing residents from consolidating their hold on the centre. From here, opposition forces control one of three routes into the port area.
Along the Al-Thaqil road to the east of the airport. This road offers the most direct route to the port which cannot be approached from the south east because of barren open land.
Along the western suburbs where the dense road network and urban landscape provides cover rocket launchers, tanks and mortar teams to attack the civilian population. The western suburbs also offer direct access to a coastal road that leads to the port.
The port is also the scene of refugee camps.
(The Wall Street Journal)