Misrata becomes Libya's Stalingrad

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Image uploaded from a quicklink The "dawn chorus" came in on time, salvos of missiles crashing down with shattering noise, burning buildings, killing and maiming people. It was the start of another day in Misrata, the city whose fate may decide the military outcome of this brutal civil war.

The besieged and battered bastion has become Libya's Stalingrad. The fall of Misrata would not only be a huge symbolic and psychological triumph for Muammar Gaddafi, but also end significant opposition to his rule in the west of the country.

It is this defiance and determination only 150 miles from where he sits in Tripoli that seem to enrage the dictator of Libya. The daily rocket and artillery attacks are vengeful and often indiscriminate, destroying homes and killing and maiming civilians. More than 200 attacks have been launched in the past 48 hours, killing 40 people and injuring 105 others.

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At www.independent.co.uk

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