News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Claim Control of Western Town

A frontline rebel position overlooks the town of Bir al-Ghanam in western Libya, August 5, 2011
A frontline rebel position overlooks the town of Bir al-Ghanam in western Libya, August 5, 2011

Libyan rebels say they have gained control of the strategic southwestern town of Bir al-Ghanam, following fierce clashes with pro-government forces.

Opposition fighters said Saturday that they had managed to push back forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi following a battle that left at least four rebel fighters dead.

There was no immediate word from the Libyan government concerning the town's status.

Bir al-Ghanam is about 85 kilometers from Tripoli.  For months, rebel fighters have been trying to move closer to the capital by seizing towns to the west.

Meanwhile, fighting is underway in Zlitan as rebels continue their efforts to wrestle control of the western town from pro-government forces.

The al-Jazeera news channel said that opposition fighters repelled an offensive by pro-government forces on Saturday after an intense battle involving rockets and small arms.

Separately, the Libyan government said Saturday that a NATO airstrike on the port in Zlitan had caused damage.

In a separate development, Italy demanded NATO investigate whether an alliance warship ignored a distress call from a boat full of refugees trying to flee Libya.

Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said Friday Italy was also asking NATO to consider changing its mission to mandate alliance forces in the region rescue and protect migrants fleeing the conflict by sea.

Italian ships Thursday rescued around 370 refugees from a boat drifting near the Italian Mediterranean island of Lampedusa.  Relief organizations say the migrants told of dozens of people who died of dehydration and exhaustion during the six days the rickety boat was on the water.

Reports in Italy say a NATO warship 50 kilometers away was informed of the situation earlier this week, but refused to come to the migrants aid.

But NATO says it only learned of the ship in distress on Thursday, from Italy.

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

You May Like

Photogallery Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid