Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is reportedly using schoolboy conscripts as young as 15 in a bid to regain the rebel-held town of Misurata.
Young government troops captured by rebels have said that while giving them rifles, the officers had told them that they were going on training exercises until they reach the front lines.
The Telegraph quoted two badly wounded teenage fighters as saying that they were also told that Misurata had been overrun by drug addicts, Islamic militants and Egyptian invaders.
During the recent past weeks, the conscripts were deployed to fight along the strategic "heavy road" connecting Benghazi to Tripoli highway, ten miles away from the commercial port of Ghasr Ahmad.
A handful of fishing boats reaching the port from Libyan Benghazi are the rebels' only link with revolutionaries in the east, and Gaddafi's forces are trying to cut the port from central Misurata, the paper said.
The paper quoted 17-year-old Umran from near Tripoli as saying that he had spent two years at a military school before being recalled to be trained further with the start of the uprising on February 17. They were reportedly kept for days without access to the radio or television.
"I was given a rifle and we were told we were going to shoot targets on an exercise. Then we found ourselves in Misurata. There were 90 of us, aged 15 to 19," he said.
"We were told we had to cleanse Misurata. There were invaders from Egypt and we had to fight against them. We said we didn't want any part in it and requested to leave. They refused and some tried to run off and officers fired on them. Those who stayed were reassured 500 reinforcements were on their way, though these never arrived," the teenage fighter added.