April 18, 2011 / 4:25 PM / 9 years ago

UPDATE 1-Rebels say four killed in Misrata shelling on Monday

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BEIRUT, April 18 (Reuters) - Rebels said four civilians were killed in Misrata on Monday in renewed heavy bombardments by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, but that insurgents made progress on the ground during the day’s fighting.

Gemal Salem, a spokesman for the insurgents, also said the death toll from Sunday’s shelling had risen to 25 as some of those who had been critically wounded had died. He did not say whether that figure included rebel fighters.

“The shelling today killed 4 civilians and wounded five. This is just the preliminary result, we think it is higher,” he told Reuters from the city.

He said Gaddafi’s forces were bombarding eastern, western, southern and central parts of Misrata. He also accused them of using cluster bombs, echoing an allegation by the U.S.-based Human Rights Watch last week.

The Libyan government, which denies shelling civilians, has also denied this allegation.

“They are using cluster bombs which release at least 21 bombs when fired,” Salem said.

“Because his forces are losing in the field as the rebels are making progress in Tripoli Street and on the eastern side where we pushed his forces 10 km back, so he is targeting civilian areas to cause horror among civilians,” Salem said. (Reporting by Mariam Karouny; writing by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Tim Pearce)

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