More than 1,000 killed in Misrata: rights group

10:05, May 12, 2011      

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A Libyan rebel fighter is attended by a nurse in a public hospital in Benghazi, Libya, May 11, 2011. He was injured in Misrata on May 1 during a fierce fighting against Moammar Gadhafi's forces. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)

An independent human rights group said here on Wednesday that more than 1,000 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Misrata in the war between the opposition and pro-Gadaffi troops.

Saad El-Oud, president of the independent Libyan Human Rights Watch, said based on their survey in Misrata, there might be more people killed in Misrata as a lot of them could not be registered. The survey showed that more than 3,000 people were injured.

Oud said their group sent a panel to Misrata from April 16 to May 6 to review the humanitarian situation in the besieged city. They found that along with 4,000-plus casualties, more than 2,000 civilians were kidnapped by pro-Gaddafi forces.

The Libyan state-run TV said that those who kidnapped were prisoners of war, but Oud denied it, saying that most of them civilians.

Gaddafi's army and the opposition fighters are still fighting against each other in the strategically important town with a population of more than 400,000. Journalists and unarmed civilians are prohibited from reaching further toward Misrata at the checkpoints 10 kilometers west of Ajdabiya.

Oud said that many places which are under protection by international treaty have been targeted and destroyed in the war. He showed some photos of Misrata's mosques, a hospital named Buchalla, and orphanage which are destroyed.

Oud admitted that the human rights situation in the city are still in severe condition, although injured people who fled to the opposition's base Benghazi decreased.

"The only way to provide aid to people in Misrata is by sea, but it has been targeted by Gaddafi's forces with missiles and sea mines," said Oud.

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