March 26, 2011 / 6:48 PM / in 8 years

Coalition planes above Misrata, shelling stops-rebel

BEIRUT, March 26 (Reuters) - Shelling by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in rebel-held Misrata stopped on Saturday when Western coalition planes appeared in the sky above the city, a rebel told Reuters.

“The shelling has stopped and now the warplanes of allies are above the sky of Misrata. The shelling stopped when the planes appeared in the sky. It seems this is their strategy,” the rebel, called Saadoun, said by telephone.

Pro-Gaddafi forces launched attacks on Misrata on Saturday from the west and the east, Saadoun said earlier, after rebels backed by allied air strikes retook the strategic town of Ajdabiyah.

“It seems his (Gaddafi’s) focus now is Misrata,” he said. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian)

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