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Mar 27, 2011

Rebels push west as air strikes hit Gaddafi forces

BIN JAWAD, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels pushed further west on Sunday to retake more territory abandoned by Muammar Gaddafi’s retreating forces, which have been weakened by Western air strikes.

Emboldened by the capture of the strategic town of Ajdabiyah with the help of foreign warplanes on Saturday, the rebels have regained the initiative and are back in control of all the main oil terminals in the eastern half of the North African country.

Mar 27, 2011

Libyan rebels push west, eye Gaddafi stronghold

BIN JAWAD, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels took back control on Sunday of the town of Bin Jawad, 525 km (330 miles) east of the capital Tripoli, and said they would push on soon toward Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sirte.

The rebels have dashed west unchallenged after routing Gaddafi’s forces at the strategic town of Ajdabiyah early on Saturday with the help of Western air strikes.

Mar 27, 2011

Libyan rebels retake strategic town from Gaddafi

AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels backed by allied air strikes have recaptured the strategic town of Ajdabiyah, signaling that the tide may be turning against Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in the east.

In the west, France said its warplanes destroyed five Libyan aircraft and two helicopters at an air base outside rebel-held Misrata on Saturday. Pro-Gaddafi forces had earlier pounded the city with tank, mortar and artillery fire that halted only as coalition aircraft appeared overhead, rebels said.

Mar 26, 2011

Rebels retake “ghost town,” as Gaddafi forces flee

AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels danced on wrecked government tanks and handed out bread and water to residents on Saturday after retaking Ajdabiyah, a gateway to the east that has been left a ghost town by days of fighting.

Decomposing bodies of more than a dozen fighters loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and ruins of artillery at entrances to the town showed that fighting had been fierce.

Mar 26, 2011

Libyan rebels recapture strategic eastern town

AJDABIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels backed by allied air strikes recaptured the strategic eastern town of Ajdabiyah on Saturday, pushing out Muammar Gaddafi’s forces.

Rebel fighters danced on tanks, waved flags and fired in the air by buildings riddled with bulletholes after an all-night battle that suggested the tide is turning against Gaddafi’s forces in the east.

Mar 25, 2011

Libyan “Lion of Desert” with rebels in spirit-grandson

BENGHAZI, Libya, March 25 (Reuters) – The grandson of Omar
al-Mukhtar, the “Lion of the Desert” who led his warriors
against Italian colonial rule and was executed in 1931, says his
illustrious forebear would be fighting with rebels against
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi if he were alive today.

“He was a fighter for the people. He is the spirit of the
whole country,” Awad al-Mukhtar told Reuters.

Mar 24, 2011

Libyan rebels plead: Send us guns

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebels desperately need arms and ammunition from foreign countries — especially weapons to knock out tanks — to bolster their struggle against Muammar Gaddafi, a rebel military spokesman said Thursday.

But they do not want foreign advisers or troops to intervene on their behalf, said Colonel Ahmed Bani, an air force officer who has joined the rebels based in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Mar 24, 2011

Benghazi residents fear loyalist gunmen

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Much of central Benghazi looked like a ghost town Thursday as residents feared gunmen loyal to Muammar Gaddafi were still at large five days after a failed assault on the rebel-held city.

Most banks and shops remained shut, despite rebel officials’ appeals for them to open again. In the souk, or market, where gold merchants and jewelers usually ply their trade, nearly all the shutters remained firmly closed.

Mar 24, 2011

In Libya, building a revolution from scratch

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Mustafa Gheriani was a construction contractor shuttling between the United States and Libya when the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi broke out.

Iman Bughaeis was teaching dentistry at Benghazi’s University.

Now they are part of the Libyan rebel movement’s administration, trying to bring some order to what at first sight seems a like a state of near anarchy in their headquarters in a dilapidated courthouse on Benghazi’s seafront.

Mar 23, 2011

Libyan rebels name exiled academic as finance chief

BENGHAZI, Libya, March 23 (Reuters) – Libya’s rebel national
council on Wednesday named a U.S.-based academic and exile
opposition figure, Ali Tarhouni, as the senior finance official
in a transitional government it is setting up.

He will head the financial and commercial committee, in
effect acting as finance minister in a body which the rebels
hope will win international recognition in their struggle
against Muammar Gaddafi’s 41 year-rule.

    • About Angus

      "Angus MacSwan has reported for Reuters for 25 years from Asia, Latin America, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa and the Balkans. He has covered events from the overthrow of President Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He stood next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he voted in South Africa's first free election and witnessed the arrival of the first prisoners to the U.S. camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
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