Monday, 18 July 2011

Libya: Rebels making their way into Brega

It has emerged that Libyan rebels are fighting Colonel Mu'ammar Qadhafi's troops in the eastern town of Brega. The rebels have reportedly been making their way to the oil town for a couple of days, despite substantial artillery fire from Qadhafi's forces occupying the town, 750km east of Tripoli.

Arab Times quoted an official in the rebel National Transitional Council, Abdulrahman Busm, as saying: “The news coming from there is there is a street war going on between Gaddafi troops and the rebels, and 127 are wounded from our side.”

Another spokesman for the rebels, Mohammed Zawi, was quoted by AFP news agency as saying: "Some small groups have made it inside, but we do not control the whole [town] yet."

Seizure of Brega, home to one of Libya's biggest oil facilities, would mark a major development for the rebels who have been locked in a political stalemate with pro Qadhafi supporters since 17th February.

AFP also reported that three rebel fighters were killed and 96 wounded in Brega on Sunday 17th July, bringing the rebel death toll since the fighting commence to 15 dead and 274 wounded.

In recent days, NATO airplanes have been targeting Qadhafi's forces near Brega and have reportedly hit a military storage facility containing tanks, armoured personnel carriers and ammunition in Tripoli's eastern outskirts early on Sunday.

A day prior to the airstrikes, Qadhafi made a speech describing the rebels as worthless traitors and denying allegations that he is seeking to negotiate a way out of the crisis. His televised address followed the declaration that the US, the West and some Arab nations, now recognise the rebel leadership as the legitimate government of Libya.

Sources: BBC News, Dawn, Arab Times

For more news and expert analysis about Libya, please see Libya Focus and Libya Politics & Security.

No comments:

Post a Comment