UPDATE 2-Pro-Gaddafi forces resume attacks on Misrata-rebels

Sun Mar 27, 2011 9:19pm GMT

* Eight people killed, 24 wounded in Misrata: resident

* Fighting stops in evening-rebel

(Adds death toll, wounded in attack, fighting stops)

TUNIS, March 27 (Reuters) - Eight people were killed when forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi resumed attacks on rebel-held Misrata on Sunday, ending a brief lull in fighting following Western air strikes, rebels and a resident said.

Pro-Gaddafi forces had eased their attacks on Misrata on Saturday after Western coalition planes appeared in the skies and hit some of their positions, rebels said.

A rebel said fighting between pro-Gaddafi forces and rebels had raged all day Sunday before stopping in the evening. Misrata resident Saadoun said eight people were killed and 24 wounded as pro-Gaddafi forces fired mortars when advancing from the west.

"A massacre has been committed. The Gaddafi forces which were trying to advance to the city fired mortars and killed at least eight," he said by phone.

"24 people are wounded, most of them are in critical condition and they lost body parts."

Misrata is the only big rebel stronghold left in the west of Libya and it is cut off from the main rebel force fighting Gaddafi's troops in the east. It has been encircled and under bombardment for weeks.   Continued...

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