Air strikes hit rebel-held towns in east Libya

Chavez, Gaddafi agree on offer to send int'l representatives to Libya to mediate between factions; rebel chair refuses talks with Gaddafi.

By REUTERS
March 3, 2011 11:21
2 minute read.
Pro Gaddafi demonstrator in Libya

pro gaddafis protest 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)

BREGA - Air strikes targeted the airport of the oil terminal town of Brega in east Libya on Thursday and a rebel position in the nearby town of Ajdabiyah, a rebel officer said, referring to two rebel-held locations.

Opposition soldiers also said troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi had been pushed back to Ras Lanuf, home to another major oil terminal and 375 miles east of Tripoli, a day after loyalists launched a ground attack on Brega that was repulsed.

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"Gaddafi's forces are in Ras Lanuf," Mohammed al-Maghrabi, a rebel volunteer, told Reuters, echoing comments by others.

Rebel Captain Bashir Abdul Gadr, speaking outside Brega, said: "Gaddafi's forces are at Ras Lanuf, there are many of them. Our forces are in Brega and al-Ugayla."

He added: "There have just been air stikes in Brega at the airport and in Ajdabiyah on our forces at the western gate."

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Also on Thursday, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said a peace plan proposed by Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to end the crisis in Libya was "under consideration".

Al Jazeera reported that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Moussa had agreed to Chavez's plan to send representatives from several countries to Libya. "No," was Moussa's response when asked if he had agreed to the plan proposed by Chavez, a friend of Gaddafi.

"We have been informed of President Chavez's plan but it is still under consideration," Moussa told Reuters by telephone on Thursday. "We consulted several leaders yesterday," he said, without providing a deadline to decide on the plan.

Meanwhile, the chairman of the rebel National Libyan Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, said he rejected the concept of talks with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi entirely, an Al Jazeera correspondent reported. Abdel Jalil added that no one had been contacted regarding an initiative by Venezuela to end the Libyan crisis.


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