Latest From Libya
GUY RAZ, host:
Now, as we mentioned a few minutes ago, explosions are ringing out around Libya's capital Tripoli. Anti-aircraft fire can also be heard.
(Soundbite of artillery fire)
RAZ: This sound was just sent to us by our correspondent, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, in Tripoli, and she joins me now.
Lourdes, can you give us an update?
LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO: Well, just a few moments ago, as you heard, we heard two large explosions and then the rattle of anti-aircraft gunfire, clearly Tripoli, again, being attacked by NATO-led airstrikes.
Of course, the news today is what is happening in the east and in the western city of Misrata, which has been besieged by Gadhafi forces for weeks now.
In Misrata, there was a brief lull in the fighting yesterday after airstrikes by the NATO-led coalition. But it seems as Gadhafi feels the pressure in the east, he wants to complete his control over the west, and that means Misrata.
So there are reports of fierce clashes there today. It's been extremely hard to independently confirm what exactly is going on there, although we know that there are also airstrikes in and around Misrata against Gadhafi's forces.
In the east, the momentum is on the rebels' side for now. They have moved past Ras Lanuf, and are facing very little resistance and are now massing to assault Gadhafi's hometown and stronghold of Sirte.
We have heard from reporters who are headed in that direction on a government-organized trip that they have seen civilians fleeing the town of Sirte in advance of possible fighting there.
RAZ: Lourdes, you were out and about in Tripoli today. What were you able to gather about the atmosphere there?
GARCIA-NAVARRO: It's extremely eerie right now. We went to a gas station today, and there were long lines, some said three to four hours waiting for gas. In some places, there were scenes of chaos with security forces getting into screaming matches with irate Libyans.
Many shops are closed, as you can imagine, shuttered. And the owners of those that are open say people are running out of money. They don't want to buy things. That's not the case, obviously, with food and other necessities. People are stocking up on those.
The government here says supplies have essentially been cut because of the embargo. No ships are coming in, little to nothing from Tunisia over the roads. People are surviving on what is already in the country.
RAZ: That's NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.
Lourdes, thank you.
GARCIA-NAVARRO: You're welcome.
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