Libya rebels say Gaddafi forces retreat in east

By REUTERS
July 18, 2011 13:06

 
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CAIRO - Libyan rebels have routed most of Muammar Gaddafi's militias from the oil town of Brega but its streets are littered with landmines, making it harder to secure full control of the area, a rebel spokesman said on Monday.

The rebel fighters have encircled Brega, a key oil export terminal with a refinery and chemical plant which for months marked the eastern limit of Gaddafi's control, the rebel spokesman Shamsiddin Abdulmolah said.

"The main body (of Gaddafi's forces) retreated to Ras Lanuf" to the west, Abdulmolah said by telephone. "I am told they (Gaddafi's forces) have some four-wheel drive trucks with machine guns spread out between Ras Lanuf and Bishr."

He said rebels trying to take control of Brega have been hindered by landmines laid by Gaddafi loyalists across the town, on its desert outskirts and at the main oil installations.

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