Gaddafi Forces Pound Misrata; Rebels Seek NATO Help

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi‘s forces fired Grad rockets into the rebel stronghold of Misrata on Thursday, raising fears of more civilian casualties in the North African country’s third largest city.

Rebel leaders called on the NATO Thursday to send more help to Misrata to prevent civilian deaths from mounting. Gaddafi’s weeks-old siege of the city has reportedly led to hundreds of civilian deaths, with the latest barrage allegedly killing at least 23 mostly women and children. Misrata’s port area, which is logistically significant to the rebels’ campaign, was reportedly the target of the attacks.

Meanwhile, NATO warplanes launched a new round of airstrikes in the capital city of Tripoli, even as the allied forces’ leader asked for more precision fighters to carry out more efficient operations and counter Gaddafi’s changing war strategies. “Now they hide their heavy arms in populated areas where before many targets were easier to get to. To avoid civilian casualties, we need very sophisticated equipment. So we need a few more precision fighter ground attack aircraft for air-to-ground missions,” NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a meeting of allied foreign ministers in Berlin, Germany.