News / Africa

Libyan Forces, Rebels Continue Battle for Brega

Libyan rebels make their way to frontline, 40 km west of Ajdabiyah, July 18, 2011
Libyan rebels make their way to frontline, 40 km west of Ajdabiyah, July 18, 2011



Clashes have intensified in Libya's eastern oil port of Brega, as anti-government fighters fought to expand their control beyond the city's residential sectors.

Opposition forces Tuesday said loyalist troops in trucks disguised with rebel flags had shelled their positions, killing eight insurgents and wounding dozens more.

But a rebel spokesman also said radio intercepts from Brega suggest forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi are low on food and weapons. He said many pro-government troops have retreated to the west, leaving a only a reduced force to defend the strategic city.

Daniel Serwer, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, spoke with Susan Yackee about what he sees as a shifting balance in Libya.

Still, opposition commanders played down their chances of swiftly capturing Brega and its petrochemical complex. They say hundreds of land mines planted by Mr. Gadhafi's forces continue to delay their advance.

Rebel fighters also said loyalist troops have set fire to ditches filled with flammable liquids, creating black smoke that covers their movements from NATO aircraft.
They said the alliance has recently stepped up airstrikes on government military convoys near Brega.

The toll in five days of clashes has risen to at least 32 opposition fighters killed and nearly 300 wounded. The Los Angeles Times quotes a government spokesman as saying 30 loyalist fighters have been killed in the fight for Brega.

In an audio address to a pro-government rally in the western town of al-Aziziya Tuesday, Mr. Gadhafi vowed again that he will not bow to the pressure of NATO or the rebellion against him. The Libyan strongman also made a rare reference to the fuel shortages caused by Tripoli's international isolation that have made life hard in government-controlled areas.

In a separate development, reports said Libya's foreign minister will meet his Russian counterpart in Moscow Wednesday, in a visit requested by the Libyan government. Russia has been heavily involved in attempts to mediate between the rebels - who control much of eastern Libya - and Mr. Gadhafi's inner circle.

Opposition forces have been fighting since February to end the Libyan leader's four decades of autocratic rule. NATO warplanes have been helping the rebels by bombing pro-Gadhafi forces under a U.N. mandate to prevent government attacks on civilians.

In a separate development, the International Committee of the Red Cross said medical workers are struggling to handle a flood of casualties in the western Nafusa mountain region, where rebels have gained control of several towns. The ICRC said medical facilities there have been cut off from Libya's health ministry.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

You May Like

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs