Family Members Killed as Civilians Flee Libya’s Sirte

Posted October 2nd, 2011 at 1:35 am (UTC-5)
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Shelling has killed at least three members of a family, including a child, near the Libyan town of Sirte where civilians are trying to flee heavy fighting between provisional government forces and Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists.

Medical officials say the family's vehicle was struck Saturday as it was stopped in traffic while driving out of the besieged hometown of Mr. Gadhafi. It is not clear which side launched the explosive.

Meanwhile, a team from the International Committee of the Red Cross finally gained entrance Saturday into Sirte. Hichem Khadraoui, who directed the ICRC operation, said the Ibn Sina Hospital is running out of medical supplies and is in “desperate need” of oxygen.

The ICRC said its team delivered supplies to the medical facility, including dressing kits, body bags and 400 liters of fuel to run the hospital's generator. The Red Cross said Sirte has “dire needs” for drinking water, hygiene items and food supplies, especially baby food.

Sirte is one of the few remaining holdouts for the former leader's loyalists. National Transitional Council fighters have been engaged in several weeks of intense clashes with Mr. Gadhafi's well-armed supporters.

On Thursday, the Red Cross said about 3,000 displaced Sirte residents were in a desert area about 30 kilometers east of the town.

On Friday, Italy's foreign minister met with NTC leaders in Tripoli and promised his country would work to unfreeze about $3 billion in Libyan assets. He said the money could help fund projects intended to rebuild the country.