venerdì 27 maggio 2011

Township living on rainwater

THOUSANDS of people in the besieged town of Yefren in the southwestern mountains of Libya are surviving on rainwater and tinned food, having been trapped for almost eight weeks by Muammar Gaddafi's forces.
According to residents, about 10,000 people who live in Yefren and a neighbouring town, Algalaa, have been under siege since April 3.
Speaking from inside Yefren, a man called Sefao, who declined to give his full name for fear of retribution, said the town believed it could hold out for only a week more because forces loyal to Gaddafi had recently captured the wells that supply Yefren and Algalaa.
"We have been under complete siege since April 3," he said.
"There is almost daily bombardment and we have no hospital because it is in Gaddafi hands.
"We were expecting that we could not survive more than a week (longer) because of the water situation, but it rained the day before yesterday and people collected some water.
Food supplies are very low and the town is without electricity or gas. The water tank for Yefren and Algalaa was damaged by a rocket. There have also been plagues of sand flies.
Ali Zidan, the chief spokesman for the rebel Transitional National Council in Benghazi, said the situation in Yefren was becoming "dramatic".
"The humanitarian situation is very bad," he said, though he added that the military situation was improving in other parts of the western mountains.
Abdo el Herrari, an activist with the Libyan Youth Movement based on the Tunisian border, said there had been a large build-up in the numbers of pro-government forces around Yefren in the past week.


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