NATO says its airstrikes have significantly degraded pro-government forces in Libya, while supporters of leader Moammar Gadhafi have rallied in the capital.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that allied forces had significantly hampered Gadhafi's "war machine." He also predicted that sustained military and political pressure along with opposition support would eventually lead to the collapse of Gadhafi's regime.
Meanwhile, about 100 people in Tripoli chanted pro-Gadhafi slogans and honked car horns Thursday, apparently in response to state-news reports that government forces were regaining the rebel-held city of Benghazi. However, there were no independent reports that opposition forces had lost their grip on the eastern city.
In another development, Libyan and Tunisian officials denied reports that Gadhafi's wife and daughter had crossed into Tunisia. Also, Libyan deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim says reports that Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem had defected to Tunisia are false. He said the minister traveled to Vienna on business.
On Wednesday, International Criminal Court prosecutors warned Libyan officials they could face investigation and prosecution for attempting to cover up crimes committed by Libyan forces in their crackdown against the rebels.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.