Libya rebels say they control parts of Tripoli

By REUTERS
August 21, 2011 14:44

 
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TRIPOLI - Libyan rebels said they had seized control of pockets of Tripoli after a night of fighting, while allied forces advanced on the capital on Sunday, predicting a final showdown with Muammar Gaddafi.

The Libyan leader dismissed the rebels, fighting since February to topple him, as "rats" and said he would not yield.

In a coordinated revolt that rebels have been secretly planning for months to end Gaddafi's 41-year rule, shooting started on Saturday night across Tripoli moments after Muslim clerics, using the loudspeakers on mosque minarets, called people on to the streets.

The fighting inside Tripoli, combined with rebel advances to the outskirts of the city, appeared to signal the decisive phase in a six month conflict that has become the bloodiest of the "Arab Spring" uprisings and embroiled NATO powers.

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