WARZONE LIBYA: Closest Call Yet
Headlines Today deputy editor Gaurav Sawant, me and British photojournalist James Wardell had our narrowest escape yet on March 10, after Ben Jawwad — the frontier of the battle between Gaddafi’s forces and Libyan rebels — came under the fiercest attack yet by government units. After being cleared from Ras Lanuf towards Ben Jawwad, we had gotten out to shoot. In six minutes, we saw four rockets about 70 feet to our left and impact with a thud behind our vehicle. We were flat on the floor, as government positions opened up their rockets and mortars, raining ordnance down virtually all around us. Our cameras rolled for a bit, and then it was us trying our best to get the hell out. An Italian TV crew lost its vehicle in the haze of rocket smoke, and ran towards our vehicle. As we pressed ourselves into a ditch to evade shrapnel, we heard some of it impact the side of our van. The bombardment continued for a few minutes, with the swish-thud continuing to our left. Finally, the driver found his nerves, and we climbed back into the vehicle to zoom back to Ras Lanuf. As we drove, more rockets landed. A few minutes after we left, Ben Jawwad was overrun completely. Two hours later, Ras Lanuf — the township where Gaurav and I had spent the previous night (at the hospital) — was shelled and overrun by Gaddafi’s forces. We’re back in Benghazi now, and will be exiting Libya soon. We captured most of the close call on camera, so look out for it on Headlines Today.