UPDATE 2-Libyan forces destroy Misrata fuel tanks-rebels

Sat May 7, 2011 1:59pm GMT

* NATO notified about attack, did not respond - rebel says

* Rebels give varying accounts of attack

* Government, rebels fight over port city of Misrata

(Recasts, previous BEIRUT)

By Lin Nouiehed

TRIPOLI, May 7 (Reuters) - Libyan government forces bombed large fuel storage tanks in the contested western city of Misrata, destroying the tanks and sparking a huge fire, rebels said on Saturday.

Misrata is the last remaining city in the west under rebel control. The port city has been under siege for more than two months. Hundreds have died in some of the war's fiercest fighting between loyalists and rebels.

Rebels gave varying accounts of the Misrata bombardment but said the overnight attack, which hit fuel used for export as well as domestic consumption, came as a blow to their ability to withstand the siege.

"Four (fuel) tanks were totally destroyed and huge fire erupted which spread now to the other four. We cannot extinguish it because we do not have the right tools," rebel spokesman Ahmed Hassan told Reuters.   Continued...

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