Libyan troops capturedby rebels in Misrata said on Saturday the army had been ordered to retreat from the besieged port, marking a possible shift in a two-month revolt against leader Muammar Gaddafi.
According to the rebels, the troops say they have been ordered to pullout of the city. Libya's government says NATO air strikes might force its army to stop retaking the country's third largest city, but local tribes are ready to take over the battle, according to
The last large city held by rebels in western Libya, Misrata has been under government siege for nearly two months. Hundreds of civilians have died in the fighting.
The government acknowledged late on Friday the siege had been broken when rebels seized the port and air strikes had taken their toll. "The tactic of the Libyan army is to have a surgical solution, but it doesn't work, with the air strikes it doesn't work," Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said.
"The situation in Misrata will be eased, will be dealt with by the tribes around Misrata and the rest of Misrata's people and not by the Libyan army," he told reporters in Tripoli,