Libyan rebels push front line closer to Tripoli
Tripoli/Cairo, Aug 21: Rebels fighting for control of the Libyan capital Tripoli have killed 31 of Muammar Qaddafi’s forces and captured 42, Al Jazeera television said on Sunday, citing its correspondent.
Libyan rebels said they were less than 30 kilometers from Tripoli on Sunday, a day after opposition fighters launched their first attack on the capital itself.
Fighters said a 600-strong rebel force that set out from Zawiya has reached the outskirts of the village of Jedaim and was coming under heavy fire from regime forces on the eastern side of the town.
Murad Dabdoub, a fighter who returned to Zawiya from the front, told The Associated Press that Qaddafi’s forces were pounding rebel positions with rockets, mortars and anti-aircraft fire.
The rebels’ arrival at Jedaim was also confirmed by Abdul-Bari Gilan, a doctor in Zawiya. He told the AP that he had treated a rebel who was wounded in the fighting at Jedaim.
An AP reporter in Tripoli, meanwhile, said the city was largely quiet on Sunday after a night of gunfire and explosions.
Libyan rebels said Saturday that they had launched their first attack on Tripoli in coordination with NATO and gunbattles and mortar rounds rocked the city. NATO aircraft also made heavy bombing runs after nightfall, with loud explosions booming across the city.
State Libyan television on Saturday aired what appeared to be a live audio message by Qaddafi in which he condemned the rebels as traitors and “vermin” who were tearing Libya apart and said they were being chased from city to city — a mirror image of reality.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Aug 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Aug 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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