Libyan rebels seize border crossing

Libyan rebels have taken control of the main border crossing with Tunisia.

Libyan rebels have taken control of the main border crossing with Tunisia.

The rebels had been trying to take the Ras Ajdir post for days from loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi.

The Tunisian national news agency reported that exchanges of gunfire could be heard from the Tunisian side as the rebels pushed forward.

The rebels control other posts along the border, but Ras Ajdir is the primary crossing between the two countries and would allow them to more easily bring supplies into Libya.

A witness said he saw the rebels raise their flag at the crossing.

Tripoli has started to look like a solidly rebel-held city, the calmest it has been in the capital since Gaddafi's opponents swept in nearly a week ago.

Some even celebrated in the streets, marching and chanting: “Hold your head high! You are a free Libyan.”

There were still occasional gunbattles, but nothing like the bloody firefight on Thursday in which rebels drove loyalists from a neighbourhood close to Gaddafi’s captured compound.

As the fighting waned, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva expressed concern about treatment of detainees on both sides.

The ICRC has been able to visit some prisoners, but “there are hundreds more probably”, spokesman Steven Anderson said.

Dozens of decomposing bodies were piled up in and near an abandoned hospital next to the Gaddafi compound, revealing some of the war’s brutality.

One hospital room had 21 bodies lying on trolleys. The floors were covered with shattered glass and bloodstains, and medical equipment was strewn about.

It was unclear when the men died or who killed them, but they had darker skin than most Libyans. Gaddafi had recruited fighters from sub-Saharan Africa.

More in this section

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd