The Allies launched airstrikes against Pro-Gaddafi forces attacking the rebel-held city of Misrata outside Tripoli.

Gaddafi’s forces were believed to have pulled back from Misrata, a town they have had under siege for weeks, but residents say snipers had continued to pick off civilians from rooftops.

“Two people were killed by snipers an hour ago in the centre of the town.” A Misrata resident told Reuters earlier today. 

“Their bodies are now at the hospital, which I visited a while ago. Shooting is still going on there now.”

Gaddafi’s snipers were even targeting civilians near the town’s hospital.

The humanitarian situation in the town is grave, another resident said, “because of a shortage of food, water and electricity.”

By bombing Gaddafi targets twice in Misrata, 210 km east of Tripoli, the Allies appear to have halted their advance on the town.

There are also reports of fierce fighting between rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces in the eastern town of Ajdabiya and Gaddafi loyalists were also pounding the town of Zintan, near the Tunisian border.

As the fighting continues, diplomats say preparations are underway for NATO to take a key role in enforcing flight restrictions over Libya.

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