RABAT - Rebels holding a port city near the Libyan capital were on alert for an attack by government forces and feared medical supplies were running short, two residents told Reuters by telephone.
Rebels in Zawiyah, 50 kms (30 miles) west of Tripoli, have been launching counter-attacks against forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi massing in the area.
"Women and children are at home while the men are armed and roam the streets and city limits in anticipation of a major attack by pro-Gaddafi forces tonight," resident Ibrahim said.
"They have deployed in larger numbers over the past three days. We estimate there are 2,000 on the southern side of town and have gathered 80 armored vehicles from the east," he said adding a battalion had also come from the west side.
Ibrahim said the armed forces would occasionally use heavy machine guns to fire from long distance.
His account could not immediately be verified.