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Libyan Rebels Continue Drive Toward Tripoli


Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stand on a road as they secure an area outside the village of Bin Jawwad, west of the recently captured oil town of Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, March 5, 2011

Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stand on a road as they secure an area outside the village of Bin Jawwad, west of the recently captured oil town of Ras Lanuf, eastern Libya, March 5, 2011

VOA Correspondents Elizabeth Arrott and Phil Ittner are in eastern Libya. Elizabeth Arrott filed this on scene report late in the day Sunday.

"We have just left Ras Lanuf, and at the moment it is pretty much a ghost town. On the outskirts to the east is an oil refinery and there is a volunteer rebel security force set up there, and it has anti-aircraft guns and various other fighters.

They did come under attack earlier today Sunday. You can see where some rockets had been shelled and that was in the early afternoon, and ... there was an explosion, but to the south of the town.

The rebels, probably about 100 or so, are at the highway entrance to the town. It is not clear how many had been there all the time, but there were reports of fighting. People were saying they had been coming back from Bin Jawwad, where there is fighting.

The rebel forces had moved beyond Ras Lanuf on Saturday, but now there seems to be some kind of opposition and airstrikes, as well as ground clashes with the pro-Gadhafi forces there. So this line is sort of moving back and forth between these little towns about halfway between Benghazi and Sirte, which is still a Gadhafi stronghold and which is very symbolic."

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