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Saturday, July 16, 2011

LIBYAN CRISIS: Rebels killed trying to retake Brega!

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Last Modified: 16 Jul 2011 11:28 / aljazeera.net.

Recent opposition losses have led some Western backers to push for a political solution to the conflict [Reuters].

Opposition forces are poised to regain control of eastern oil town that has switched hands multiple times since March.

A Libyan medical official says 10 rebel fighters have been killed and 172 wounded in an attack on a strategic eastern oil town controlled by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader.
Mohammed Idris said on Saturday that rebel forces entered the front-line town of Brega the night before and that government shelling and land mines killed the rebels.


He also said rebel forces had captured four government soldiers.


It was unclear whether any other government troops were killed and whether the fighting had advanced the rebel front line.


"We are told that the bulk of the opposition fighters are some 20km outside of Brega, kept at bay with Grad rockets fired by Gaddafi's fighters," Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from rebel-held Benghazi, said.
Heavy clashes also broke out on Saturday at the front line in the Western Mountains town of Bir Ghanam.
Rebels hold the high ground on the outskirts of the town, their closest position to Tripoli, just 80km away.
Libya's opposition received a boost on Friday from Istanbul when more than 30 nations - including the US - recognised their National Transitional Council.


But the civil war has fallen into a stalemate, with rebel forces unable to make significant advances, even while NATO bombs Gaddafi's troops under a UN mandate to protect civilians.




Returning to key town
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'Very close to Brega'
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'Legitimate governing authority'
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