NEAR ES SIDER, Libya - Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched a bombardment near rebel positions around the east Libyan oil terminal of Es Sider on Wednesday, blowing up storage tanks at the facility.
Rebels retaliated by firing back with rockets as a fireball exploded from one of the oil tanks and the sky above the terminal filled with black smoke. A witness said one of the smoke plumes was the biggest he had seen in the conflict so far.
It was not clear if an air strike, rockets or artillery had caused the explosions at Es Sidr. Rebels blamed Gaddafi forces.
An air strike was reported on the nearby oil town of Ras Lanuf, which has sustained several attacks in the past days.