Libyan rebels push on to Tripoli

Rebels of Libya's western mountain region seize a village from Gaddafi troops after a six-hour firefight, taking 11 prisoners.

July 7, 2011 20:55
Libyan rebels

Libyan rebels 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Rebel fighters seize a village south of the Libyan capital Tripoli in easily the biggest push in weeks toward Muammar Gaddafi's main stronghold.

Earlier the rebels advanced towards the village, and only arrived after a six-hour firefight with government forces involving small arms, as well as mortars and missiles.

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Once here, they celebrate with cries of "God is greatest".

The rebels also take 11 prisoners, all pro-government fighters.

But these three aren't Libyan. Two say they're Ghanaian, and one is from Mali.

Libya's rebels have a particularly strong dislike for sub-Saharan Africans fighting for Gaddafi because they say they're mercenaries.

But many of them say they were forced to take up arms.

Wednesday's advance follows weeks of largely static fighting.

The previous big advance in the region was last month, when rebels pushed took a town 20 kilometers north of their base in the Western Mountains.

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