Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

"The burkini trap"

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Should men also be 'liberated from oppressive beachwear'?

Read more

Africa

Libyan rebels scramble to hold control in battle for oil-rich Brega

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-03-04

A FRANCE 24 correspondent embedded with anti-regime fighters reports on the rebel response to a counter attack by Gaddafi loyalists, who briefly retook the oil port of Brega.

Military forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi launched a first counter attack on rebel-held eastern Libya on Wednesday, briefly regaining control of key locations in the oil port of Brega. FRANCE 24’s correspondents shot exclusive footage of the rebel militia’s desert fighting.

The rebels are for the most part civilians with no military training, and vary widely in age. “Were not asking for him [Gaddafi] to leave! We want him executed and hung in public!” shouts one rebel fighter, brandishing an automatic riffle.

The men scramble into jeeps and drive out toward the oil installation, displaying their revolutionary zeal, as well as a clear lack of experience and organisation. Riding along the coastline one rebel holds a grenade in one hand, and what looks like an ordinary kitchen knife in the other.

Following new orders, the convoy turns away from the oil installation and heads into the desert.

Both sides exchange gunfire for several hours. The rebels possess sophisticated weapons, including rocket launchers, but bear no uniforms or the usual trappings of professional soldiers.

Some of the men collapse from exhaustion after running and crawling over sand dunes. But constant communication with other rebel units and fresh supplies keep the fighters motivated.

The militia rejoices on the news that the Brega airport has been retaken from Gaddafi loyalists. The day’s fighting ends in triumph, but the real fighting seems just only begun for this makeshift group of rebels.

 


 

Date created : 2011-03-03

  • LIBYA

    Air Force carries out fresh raids on rebel-held east

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Arab League considering Chavez peace plan for Libya

    Read more

  • US - LIBYA

    'Step down' Obama tells Gaddafi

    Read more

COMMENT(S)