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/AL-QAWALISH (Reuters) – Libyan rebels renewed their push against leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces on Friday, coming under heavy fire just days after making hefty advances toward Tripoli on two fronts.
Tens of thousands of supporters of the defiant Gaddafi 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.
AL-QAWALISH, Libya (Reuters) – The frontline Libyan village of Al-Qawalish was a ghost town Thursday, a day after it was seized by rebels, who said life may return to normal in the area after the exit of Muammar Gaddafi’s troops.
The rebels seized the village in an eight-hour battle on Wednesday, pushing Gaddafi’s forces east at least 10 km (6 miles) beyond an area of open ground. The advance puts the rebels on the road towards Garyan, a larger southern town controlling a major highway into the capital Tripoli.
AL-QAWALISH, Libya (Reuters) – Rebel fighters seized a village south of the Libyan capital and another group advanced toward Tripoli from the east on Wednesday in the biggest push in weeks toward Muammar Gaddafi’s main stronghold.
Rebels firing their rifles into the air in celebration poured into the village of Al-Qawalish, 100 km (60 miles) southwest of Tripoli, after a six-hour battle with pro-Gaddafi forces who had been holding the town.
AL-QALAA, Libya (Reuters) – Hundreds of Libyan rebels launched a massed offensive in the mountains southwest of Tripoli Wednesday to seize a village held by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces and push the front line closer to the capital.
Rebels arrived at the front at first light in scores of Toyota pick-up trucks, many with large-caliber anti-aircraft guns or home-made rocket launchers welded onto the truck beds. Several tanks also came on the backs of lorries.
ZAWIYAH, Libya (Reuters) – Fighting between Libyan troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and rebels broke out in the town of Zawiyah on Saturday, a resident said, shutting the coastal highway that links the capital Tripoli with Tunisia.
A Reuters reporter traveling via the town, which lies just 50 km (30 miles) outside of Tripoli, was diverted via backstreets with a police escort. He said the highway was deserted except for lots of soldiers, police and armed men in civilian clothes.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – NATO warplanes pummeled a town west of Libya’s capital, state media said soon after Western and Arab powers promised more than $1 billion to help rebels fighting to end Muammar Gaddafi’s four-decade rule.
A Reuters journalist also reported a loud explosion in Tripoli on Friday just after midnight, a common time for NATO strikes on the capital.
ABU DHABI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libya’s rebels said they hoped to restart oil production and gained pledges of over $500 million aid on Thursday, as Western powers nudged them to plan for the day after Muammar Gaddafi’s fall from power.
NATO pounded Tripoli from the air, and Western and Arab nations met the rebels in Abu Dhabi to focus on what one U.S. official called the “end-game” for the Libyan leader.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – “We are all happy when NATO bombs like that,” the taxi driver said on Wednesday, the morning after the heaviest Western air strikes on the Libyan capital.
“Everyone here has rebel flags at home, just waiting for the day when the rebels finally reach the outskirts of the city, when we will pour out into the streets.”
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – NATO bombing of Tripoli paused on Wednesday morning after some of the heaviest bombardments of the Libyan capital since air strikes began in March, but rebels said Muammar Gaddafi’s army continued to shell their positions.
A Reuters reporter in Tripoli said no further explosions were heard after about 2 a.m. (0000 GMT). Loud blasts had been shaking Tripoli throughout Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, with warplanes hitting the city several times an hour.