News / Africa

Libyan Rebel Forces Attack Strategic Oil City

Libyan rebel fighters watch the border at the frontline of Al-Qawalish in the western mountains of Libya, after a battle with forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, July 14, 2011
Libyan rebel fighters watch the border at the frontline of Al-Qawalish in the western mountains of Libya, after a battle with forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, July 14, 2011

Libyan rebel forces have attacked the government-held coastal town of Brega, a strategic oil hub in the east of the country.

Medical sources in nearby Ajdabiya said Thursday that one rebel was killed and at least five wounded in the clashes as opposition fighters reported the first columns advancing beyond a front line that had stagnated for weeks.

A Libyan government spokesman said forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi had defeated what he called a coordinated attack by NATO forces and rebels. Moussa Ibrahim told journalists that opposition fighters backed by NATO air and sea forces had attacked Brega. He said the assault violated the alliance's U.N. mandate to protect civilians.

Ibrahim's assessment could not be immediately verified, although Al-Arabiya television also reported that rebels helped by NATO warplanes had attacked Brega from land and sea.

The fighting comes as international diplomats gather in Istanbul to discuss a political solution to the Libyan civil war.

Diplomats expected to attend Friday's talks include U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, envoys of other NATO members, representatives of Gulf and African nations and Libya's rebel movement. It will be the fourth meeting of the Contact Group on Libya since March, when the uprising began.

Turkey and the African Union each have proposed peace plans to end the war.

Washington and its NATO allies want Mr. Gadhafi to step down immediately to allow Libya to begin a democratic transition. They say their four-month-long campaign of airstrikes on pro-Gadhafi forces will continue as long as those forces keep attacking Libyan civilians.

Mr. Gadhafi said Thursday he will never give in to the rebels or their NATO allies. In a message broadcast by loudspeaker to supporters in the town of Al-Ajaylat, he also called French President Nicolas Sarkozy a "war criminal." France was an early contributor to the NATO mission.

Mr. Gadhafi's prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, also announced a symbolic end to economic cooperation with Italy, Libya's former colonial ruler and another participant in the NATO airstrikes. Mr. Al-Mahmoudi said Tripoli no longer will work with the Italian government or Italian oil giant ENI, one of the biggest investors in the Libyan oil sector.

ENI already had stopped its oil production in Libya and deliveries of Libyan natural gas to Italy several months ago. ENI's Libyan assets are split between the government-controlled region around Tripoli and the rebel-held regions in the east and west.

Also Thursday, a Russian newspaper quoted Moscow's special envoy to Libya, Mikhail Margelov, as saying Mr. Gadhafi has threatened to blow up Tripoli if the city falls into rebel hands.

Ibrahim, Libya's government spokesman, denied that Mr. Gadhafi had any such plans.

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

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid