Gaddafi recaptures coastal cities en route to Benghazi
LAST UPDATED: 03/06/2011 08:30
Rebels deny claims that gov't controls Misrata on Libyan coast; machine gun fire heard in Tripoli; Gaddafi lowers import tariffs.
Libya Rebel with Gun Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem
Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi attacked
rebels on Sunday in Bin Jawad, a town between rebel-held Ras Lanuf and
Sirte on the coast, rebel fighters said.
One fighter, returning
wounded from Bin Jawad, said the Gaddafi loyalists had attacked with
machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs).
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rushed casualties from Bin Jawad to Ras Lanuf, an oil port 660 km (410
miles) east of Tripoli. The rebels took Ras Lanuf on Friday.
Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, is less than 100 km (60 miles) west of Bin Jawad.
tell us in Bin Jawad there are Gaddafi forces. Some rebels have been
hit by snipers," Khamis al-Libi, a rebel fighter, said. "They have RPGs,
and machine guns," added Mansour Mayloud, another fighter. "There's been
an attack on Bin Jawad."
Witnesses said a warplane attacked Ras Lanuf early on Sunday, but there were no casualties.
Mixed reports as to who controls coastal cities
there were mixed reports as to whether Gaddafi's forces had recaptured
the important coastal cities of Zawiyah and Misrata from rebels. State
television declared that the cities were both back in pro-government
Misrata residents, however, rejected the state television report that government forces had re-captured it.
town is fully in the control of the revolutionaries. It has been in
their hands for about two weeks. It is calm now. There is no fighting,
thank God," the resident, who did not want to be named, told Reuters by
Government forces were also heading for Libya's second largest
city Benghazi in the country's east, epicenter of a two-week-old revolt
against Gaddafi's 41-year rule in the oil-producing North African
Machinegun fire in Benghazi
Earlier in the morning, heavy automatic weapons fire
erupted in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, the first such outbreak in
Gaddafi's main stronghold during the two-week-old insurrection.
spokesman Mussa Ibrahim denied any fighting was under way in Tripoli,
saying the gunfire was staged to fete the army's recapture of several
cities from rebel forces.
It was unclear who was doing the
shooting, which started just before daybreak, or what had caused it.
Machine gun volleys, some of them heavy calibre, reverberated around
central Tripoli along with ambulance sirens, pro-Gaddafi chants, and a
cacophony of car horns as vehicles sped through the vicinity.
Gaddafi suspends import tariffs on staple goods
has ordered the abolition of import tariffs on staple goods and taxes on
consumption and production, state television reported on Sunday.
It said the government took the decision "on the occasion of the great Libyan victories over the terrorist gangs".