Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

S.Sudan rebels say more time needed to achieve peace

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Melania, migrant children and a curious message

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Eurozone ministers inching towards 'credible' debt deal for Greece

Read more

THE DEBATE

Erdogan goes all in: The high stakes of Turkey's elections

Read more

FOCUS

Rubbish piling up in France's illegal landfills

Read more

ENCORE!

Join our summer solstice music celebration

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Allez les Bleus! Exploring France's love of football

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Burger King pulls ad offering burgers for women impregnated by World Cup stars

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Outcry over migrant family separations in US

Read more

Africa

Libyan forces break through rebel lines in Zawiyah

Video by Antoine MARIOTTI , Olivia SALAZAR WINSPEAR

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2011-03-05

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces inflicted a severe setback on rebels Saturday when they closed in on the town of Zawiyah near Tripoli. The rebels also claimed victory in the eastern town of Ras Lanuf.

REUTERS - Libyan forces closed in on the western town of Zawiyah on Saturday after rebels drove them from the centre in fierce fighting, while in the east, opponents of Muammar Gaddafi pushed towards his home town.

 "They entered Zawiyah at six in the morning with heavy forces, hundreds of soldiers with tanks. Our people fought back ...We have won for now and civilians are gathering in the square," said Youssef Shagan, the rebel force spokesman in Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital Tripoli.
 
Frontline moving west, says FRANCE 24's Cyril Vanier in Libya

People opposed to Gaddafi's 41-year rule have been fighting his forces in Zawiyah for more than a week, after rebels took over swathes of eastern Libya in an uprising inspired by the overthrow of longterm rulers in Egypt and Tunisia this year.

 
Shagan said Gaddafi forces had fired high explosive rounds in central streets and dragged people from their homes. There were many casualties among civilians, rebels and soldiers, he said, although he could not give a precise number.
 
"We captured 3 APCs, two tanks and one pick-up after an hour and a half of fighting," he said, adding that government snipers had taken up positions in Zawiyah.
 
Anti-Gaddafi protesters defy regime in Tripoli, says FRance 24's Catherine Norris-Trent

By mid-morning, the Mediterranean town was encircled by Gaddafi's forces, who were manning checkpoints some 3 km (1.8 miles) from the centre.

 
A rebel fighter in the centre of the Mediterranean town vowed to fight to the death.
 
"Gaddafi will never enter this city. He will never set foot here. The only way for him to enter the city is when we are all dead. He has to kill us all to control the city," the rebel, who gave his name as Ibrahim, said by telephone.
 

Rebels in eastern Libya said they were pushing further west after driving out forces loyal to Gaddafi from the oil town of Ras Lanuf on Friday. They said they had fired on an army helicopter swooping over Ras Lanuf on Saturday.

 

Date created : 2011-03-05

  • LIBYA

    Gaddafi forces retake parts of Zawiyah as clashes intensify

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Libyan rebels tighten grip on oil-exporting eastern ports

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Arms depot explodes near rebel-held Benghazi

    Read more

COMMENT(S)