I have never seen so many injured, so much blood, and so many dead. Misrata was a killing field. Based at a hospital in Misrata, when out of the front-line I was still surrounded by it all.
I felt helpless, useless even. Medics rushed around as porters dragged in more of the injured and the dying. Wounds were cleaned, drips were inserted, and doctors tried in vain to resuscitate a man. And all I could do was stand there, taking pictures.
The Libyans I have met have been almost universally grateful that we, the foreign press, were there. They thanked us, telling us that we were risking our lives for their struggle. But we had the choice to be there. We could leave, we could jump on the next boat out. But this was their city, and their lives. They had been suffering this for weeks, and the situation showed no sign of changing in the weeks to come.
In Benghazi, graffiti praised Al-Jazeera, CNN, the BBC, for internationalising their struggle, for coming to their aid and telling the world what was happening. But here in Misrata, as body parts hung from shredded limbs, as blood poured from lethal head-wounds, documenting all this seemed superfluous to me at times. There was so much suffering. And people would ask “where are Nato, what are they doing?” And I had no answer for them.