12 May 2011

Misrata reported to be under rebel control

5:56 am on 12 May 2011

Rebels in Libya are reported to have taken control of the city of Misrata, after heavy fighting with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.

Misrata is the only major city that the rebels hold in the west and Colonel Gaddafi's forces have besieging it for eight weeks.

Its port is a lifeline for supplies and evacuating those fleeing the fighting.

Witnesses said Misrata airport fell after hours of fighting between rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces on Wednesday.

Misrata is an hour's drive from the capital, Tripoli. It is the third largest city in Libya.

Meanwhile, a rebel group in the Western Mountains region has rejected a United Nations call for a ceasefire, saying they don't believe Colonel Gaddafi would respect it.