Libya rebels enter strategic town near Tripoli

By REUTERS
August 14, 2011 13:06

 
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ZAWIYAH, Libya - Libyan rebels hoisted their flag in the center of this town near the capital on Sunday after the most dramatic advance in months cut off Muammar Gaddafi's capital from its main link to the outside world.

The swift rebel advance on the town of Zawiyah, about 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, will deal a psychological blow to Gaddafi's supporters and also cuts the coastal highway to Tunisia which keeps the capital supplied with food and fuel.

But there was no sign Tripoli was under immediate threat from a rebel attack: heavily-armed pro-Gaddafi forces still lie between Zawiyah and the capital.

Rebels from the Western Mountains region south of this Mediterranean coast town dashed forward into Zawiyah late on Saturday, encountering little sustained resistance from pro-Gaddafi forces.

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