Libyan rebels struggle to restore order in Tripoli | World| Breakings news and perspectives from around the globe | DW | 27.08.2011
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Libyan rebels struggle to restore order in Tripoli

Much of Tripoli has been without power and water as the National Transitional Council tries to stabilize the capital. As the Libyan rebels battle the humanitarian crisis, the whereabouts of Gadhafi remain unknown.

Libyan rebels in Tripoli

Libyan rebels hope to consolidate power in Tripoli

Tripoli struggled with collapsing water and power supplies on Saturday as rebel forces battled to restore order to the capital.

Despite reports of sporadic violence, rebels claimed to have control of most of the city. But clashes in towns still held by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and increasing shortages fuelled the growing humanitarian crisis.

Tripoli's two million citizens grappled with a breakdown in basic services and lack of medical supplies as the National Transitional Council asserted that they were doing their best to combat the shortages.

"We have enough supplies of drinking water; we have some technical problems but we are addressing the situation," National Transitional Council spokesman Mahmud Shammam told AFP.

Meanwhile Sky News reported on Saturday that 53 bodies were found in a warehouse in the capital after apparently being executed earlier this week.

A local resident told Sky that the victims were mostly civilians who had been killed by Gadhafi's forces. Witnesses suggested that around 150 people were executed at the site on August 23 and 24 as rebel forces battled to take control of Tripoli.

Emergency aid

Reports of the massacre follow the discovery of dozens of dead bodies at a hospital in Tripoli.

Libyan rebels drinking milk

Increasing shortages have plagued Tripoli

Reuters reported that the decomposing bodies still lay in and around Abu Salim's main hospital on Saturday. All medical staff had fled the scene and it remained unclear how the victims had died.

Britain responded to the desperate conditions in Libya on Saturday by pledging to donate up to three million pounds (3.4 million euros, $4.9 million) in urgent aid to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

"The aid package will help with basic services, particularly providing food for just under 700,000 people but also providing very strong medical support for 5,000 who have been wounded," said International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell.

"We've seen the most terrible scenes from Tripoli hospitals and we are moving directly now to assist the International Red Cross in tackling that," he told BBC television.

Still on the run

As the battles rages in Libya the whereabouts of deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi remain a mystery.

Gadhafi supporters cheer in front of a poster of Gadhafi

Gadhafi issued a fresh message of defiance from hiding on Thursday

Egyptian state news agency MENA quoted a rebel source as claiming that a motorcade of armored cars accompanied by loyalist forces had been seen crossing into Algeria on Friday.

It is possible that the six vehicles could have been carrying officials from the former regime, or even Gadhafi himself, but the Libyan rebels confirmed on Saturday that they have no concrete information about the location of the former leader.

The NTC has offered a $1.3 million reward for anyone who kills or captures him.

Author: Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (AFP, Reuters, AP)
Editor: Andreas Illmer

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