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Fighting Continues In Western Libya

Rebel fighters run across a street in the besieged Libyan city of Misurata.

Rebel fighters run across a street in the besieged Libyan city of Misurata.

In Libya, fighting between rebels and forces loyal to leader Muammar Qaddafi continued in the western part of the country, with mortar shells landing on the Tunisian side of the border.

Tunisia's state-run Tunis Afrique Presse agency reported that more than 30 artillery rounds fired by Qaddafi's forces fell in the Tunisian town of Dahiba today after fighting broke out near the Tunisian-Libyan border.

Meanwhile, rebels accused Qaddafi loyalists of using helicopters bearing the Red Cross emblem to drop mines into the harbor of the besieged city Misurata.

NATO confirmed that helicopters had flown over the city on May 5 in breach of the no-fly zone its war planes are supposed to enforce. However the organization could not confirm that the choppers were marked with the Red Cross sign.

NATO has led international military operations in Libya since early April. The European Union has been planning for a humanitarian mission in the country, which is still needs a green light from the United Nations.

In other developments, Italian media say that a new wave of Libyan refugees arrived overnight on the tiny island of Lampedusa.

The reports cited Italian coast guard officials as saying two vessels with more than 840 people on board were escorted into the Lampedusa harbor.

compiled from agency reports