Stoke & Staffordshire

Staffordshire doctor in Libya tells of shelling

A Staffordshire doctor who returned home to Libya to help at hospitals after seeing pictures on television has told of the suffering he has seen.

Ramadan Atewah, of the University Hospital North Staffordshire, is helping out at a hospital in Misrata.

He said he saw two young sisters hit by shrapnel from shelling and could not understand how the country's forces could be allowed to kill children.

Rebels in the city are holding out in a stand-off with Gaddafi's forces.

Nato pilots are enforcing a UN resolution to establish a no-fly zone and to protect civilians in Libya.

The country has effectively been split between forces for and against Col Gaddafi since a revolt against his rule began in mid-February.

Dr Atewah has been in Misrata for two weeks.

'Not safe'

He told the BBC: "One of the things which [makes me] hold my breath when I see it is two girls, one is seven years and one is one and a half years.

"These two girls were fleeing from the war zone with their family and the story is the older child holding the youngster on her shoulder and the shelling hit both of them.

"It makes me feel very, very sad. I ask myself is this commander of this army is [he a] human being, did he feel, does he know how the people of Misrata are suffering?

"We are not safe in this city. This is the message - we are going to kill you wherever you are, as he said room by room, house by house, street by street, exactly what he is doing."

David Cameron, Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy have declared that the military action in Libya will continue for as long as Col Gaddafi remains in power.

Rebels said a rocket attack in Misrata by pro-Gaddafi forces killed 23 people on Thursday, and there were new reports of rocket fire into the city on Friday morning. Neither account could be confirmed.

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