Rebels Advance in Libya, but Crisis Follows

Fighters seize supply routes to the west, but reports of squalor and suffering grow

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As Libyan rebels continue their hunt for Col. Muammar Qaddafi, the fighters have also wrested control of the border crossing into Tunisia, west of Tripoli. That victory should provide anti-Qaddafi forces with a strategic supply route to the capital, where fighting continues in an effort to rid the city of remaining supporters of the regime.

New supply routes might also mean an improvement in the increasingly bleak humanitarian crisis within Tripoli. Reports of chaos and disruption continued to mount this weekend. The BBC's Wyre Davies reported Friday on a hospital that had become a dumping ground for bodies, including young men as well as women and children.

They were lying in corridors, on trolleys in wards and even piled up at the hospital entrance.
Why they are all here and how they died is not clear.
What we do know is that the doctors and nurses who usually work here fled for their own lives on Monday when the Abu Salim district erupted in violence.
Many civilians, as well as fighters, were wounded or killed in the battle.
The dead and severely injured were simply left and abandoned at the hospital.
After four days of heavy, intense street fighting the bodies were literally piling up.

The rest of the city is suffering under a lack of basic supplies, including diesel to power electric generators and fuel for cooking, the network reported Saturday.

Meanwhile, both sides are reporting massacres and atrocities. Bodies were found in the streets in Tripoli Friday, and The New York Times reported that a cluster of 30 dead pro-Qaddafi fighters included "at least two were bound with plastic handcuffs, suggesting that they had been executed."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.