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UN aid chief: If Libya's fighting continues, the country will run out of food

Fighting, particularly in Misratah, has interrupted the supply lines that provide Libya with food, fuel, and other essentials. Meanwhile, Tripoli sees heaviest bombings in weeks.

By Correspondent / May 10, 2011

Libyans wait to buy bread in the western city of Ajdabiya, on May 4. Fighting has interrupted the supply lines that provide Libya with food.

Mohammed Salem/Reuters

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The United Nations aid chief has called for a pause in fighting in Libya to provide a window of time to address dire supply shortages.

The shortages, which could soon create a humanitarian crisis, are partly a result of sanctions that have disrupted the country's supply lines as well as "paralyzing" fighting, said Valerie Amos, the UN aid chief. Libya's food supply will only last a couple more months, BBC reports.

Meanwhile, NATO bombed Tripoli Tuesday morning in its heaviest air campaign against the capital city in weeks. The strikes hit at least four sites in Tripoli, possibly including the compound where the family of leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi lives, according to the Associated Press.

One of the buildings hit was used by the military intelligence agency, according to local residents, and another was used by parliament members as a research library.

Action has also escalated in the country's rebel-held east, where fighting has been stalled for several weeks. Rebels have unsuccessfully attempted to push on from outside Ajdabiya to Brega, a town slightly farther west. On Monday, there were reports of fighting outside Ajdabiya. Rebels withdrew from the front line later that day on NATO's orders because NATO was planning to stage airstrikes on Colonel Qaddafi's forces, according to the AP.

A skirmish south of Ajdabiya during the weekend and relative quiet in the east has rebels worried that Qaddafi's troops are moving south now, only to surprise rebels from the east again later near the Egyptian border, Reuters reports.

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