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Published on 11 June 2011
Extracts from the article Gaddafi troops surround Libyan city after clashes.
...Gaddafi’s forces also shelled for the first time the world heritage-listed city of Gadamis, 600km (370 miles) southwest of Tripoli on the Tunisia and Algerian border, overnight, opening a new front in the five-month civil war...
...Rebels said the oasis town of Gadamis with a population of about 7,000 people, mainly Berber, was under attack after an anti-government protest in the old Roman city on Wednesday.
“Gadamis is being shelled by Gaddafi forces, according to witnesses in the town,” spokesman Juma Ibrahim said from the rebel-held town of Zintan in the Western Mountains.
“This is a retaliation for anti-regime protests,” he said.
The old town was depopulated by Gaddafi in the 1990s and its inhabitants moved into modern buildings. It was not clear if the attack hit the old town, a labyrinth of narrow, underground passages and houses known as the “Pearl of the Desert”.
The accounts from Gadamis could not be independently verified and the government did not comment....
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