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Rebels Beat Back Gadhafi Forces


Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sits on a truck with a heavy machine gun after capturing the oil town of Ras Lanuf, in eastern Libya, March 5, 2011

Libyan rebels who are part of the forces against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi sits on a truck with a heavy machine gun after capturing the oil town of Ras Lanuf, in eastern Libya, March 5, 2011

Rebel Libyan forces are reported to have beaten back Moammar Gadhafi's forces in two towns.

In western Libya, loyalist troops withdrew from Zawiayah, 50 kilometers from Tripoli, after battling with rebels Saturday.

The rebels were able to overcome the Libyan military despite the military's heavy artillery and tanks.

Rebels are also reported in control of the eastern oil port of Ras Lanuf, after battling Gadhafi loyalists Friday.

The number of casualties in the clashes in the towns was not immediately clear.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has launched an appeal of nearly $26 million to assist more than 200,000 people affected by the the crisis in Libya.

Meanwhile, Interpol has issued a global alert against Gadhafi and 15 other Libyan nationals, including some of his family members and close associates.

The alert comes after the International Criminal Court announced it has opened a probe against Gadhafi and some of his associates in possible crimes against humanity.

Libya's unrest follows waves of demonstrations in other Middle Eastern and North African countries in recent weeks. Anti-government demonstrations have forced the long-time leaders of Tunisia and Egypt to step down. But Gadhafi has refused to budge, and the conflict in Libya has escalated.

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