News / Africa

Libyan Rebels: Street Fighting Engulfs Brega

Biggest offensive eastern Libya has seen in weeks

A rebel flag is installed at the tomb of a fighter killed during fighting with forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, July 17, 2011
A rebel flag is installed at the tomb of a fighter killed during fighting with forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, July 17, 2011

Libyan rebels say they have entered the strategic oil port of Brega and are fighting street battles there with forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi, the biggest offensive that eastern Libya has seen in weeks.

Reports from Brega Sunday described clashes in residential areas. Opposition leaders said at least 10 rebels have been killed in four days of fighting and 125 have been wounded. Casualty reports from the government side have been impossible to obtain.

Until Sunday, the rebel offensive to retake Brega had been limited mainly to mortar and rocket attacks from outside the city, as better-armed loyalists had slowed the rebel advance through the use of landmines and shelling. But Sunday's street fighting involved the use of machine guns at close range.

Brega is the site of a strategic oil terminal about 750 kilometers east of Tripoli. Rebels say re-taking the city would be a tipping point in the conflict on the eastern front.

The town has changed hands several times since the rebellion to oust Mr. Gadhafi began in February.

NATO warplanes bombed targets near the Libyan capital Sunday, a day after hitting pro-Gadhafi armored vehicles and rocket launchers near Brega.

The latest NATO air strikes shook the eastern outskirts of Tripoli before dawn. It was not immediately clear what targets were struck or whether there were any casualties. Mr. Gadhafi's forces have waged a five-month battle against rebels trying to end his 42-year-long autocratic rule.

Opposition forces who control most of eastern Libya and parts of the west are trying to advance on Tripoli from both fronts with the help of NATO air strikes on pro-government troops.

NATO reported hitting a range of Libyan military targets near Tripoli on Saturday, including a storage facility, three radar installations and a surface-to-air missile launcher.

Mr. Gadhafi has made a series of defiant speeches in the past week, vowing not to leave power as demanded by the rebels and Western allies.

Beginning Thursday, thousands of portrait-waving, pro-Gadhafi demonstrators have gathered amid a sea of green flags in the towns of Ajaylat, Zlitan and then Zawiya. The Libyan leader's words boomed from massive speakers during each rally.

The rebels won a diplomatic boost on Friday when representatives of 30 nations meeting in Istanbul declared the rebel Transitional National Council to be Libya's legitimate authority.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid