MISRATA/PARIS (Reuters) – Libyan rebels dug into defensive positions and hoarded ammunition on Monday, stalled in their advance toward Tripoli in a slowing campaign that is starting to irk NATO allies.
France expressed impatience over the weekend at the inability to reach a political solution to the crisis after months of static fighting, and stepped up pressure on rebels to negotiate an end to the conflict.
MISRATA, Libya, July 11 (Reuters) – When the battle for
Misrata began in late February, Mahmoud Mohammed Askutri started
out with a Kalashnikov rifle and four bullets.
Standing alongside his former schoolteacher, who was armed
with a sharpened piece of metal, Askutri spotted and shot a
soldier loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
EAST OF ZLITAN, Libya (Reuters) – For Abu Youssef, the uprising against the 41-year rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has become a family affair.
The 52-year-old former businessman has been on the front line with his 23-year old son, Khalid, since April and last Friday was the first day of combat for his younger son, Ali, 18.
MISRATA, Libya (Reuters) – Sadiq Mubakar Krain’s blue overalls are soaked with sweat as he works on an improvised rocket launcher for the rebels fighting Muammar Gaddafi.
“This is the first time I make one of these,” said Krain, 52, pointing to a launcher that consists of 16 rocket tubes scavenged from a military helicopter.
EAST OF ZLITAN, Libya (Reuters) – Midway through the morning, as Grad rockets whooshed through the branches of trees overhead, some of the young men of the 1st battalion Al Marsa regiment began to sing.
A slow, melodic and gentle version of the Muslim call to prayer that begins “Allahu Akbar” or “God is greatest,” drifted along the front line.
DAFNIYA/AL-QAWALISH, Libya (Reuters) – Rebel fighters braced for further attacks on Saturday from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi after the Libyan leader staged a show of support at home and threatened to strike his enemies abroad.
Rebels in Misrata said the death toll in the western town, a longtime insurgent stronghold, had risen to seven from six, with at least 17 wounded, after a heavy attack by Gaddafi artillery the day before.
DAFNIYA/AL-QAWALISH, Libya (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi threatened to take the war in Libya to Europe on Friday while rebels came under heavy fire as they renewed their push against his forces.
Tens of thousands of Gaddafi supporters rallied in Tripoli’s Green Square for Friday prayers, underscoring his refusal to step down after four decades in power and five months of fighting.
DAFNIYA/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libyan rebels renewed their push against leader Muammar Gadaffi’s forces on Friday, coming under heavy fire just days after making hefty advances toward Tripoli on two fronts.
A defiant Gadaffi rallied tens of thousands of supporters to Tripoli’s Green Square for Friday prayers, underscoring his refusal to step down after four decades in power and five months of fighting.
DAFNIYA, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan rebel fighters based in Misrata advanced about 20 km (12 miles) west toward the capital, rebel commanders said on Wednesday, but government forces were shelling their positions.
Rebel commanders in Dafniya, on the western outskirts of Misrata, told Reuters their forces had made the advance overnight along one stretch of the front line, but Reuters journalists were unable to confirm that independently.
TRIPOLI/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi could fall within two to three months, the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor said on Tuesday, as rebels sought to build on a gradual advance towards Tripoli.
The ICC’s Luis Moreno-Ocampo, who on Monday announced an arrest warrant for Gaddafi on charges of crimes against humanity, is the latest international official to say the Libyan leader would soon capitulate to a NATO-backed revolt.