Libyan anti-Gaddafi protests (R) 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah)
rebels prepared for further attacks by forces loyal to leader Muammar
Gaddafi on Friday as both sides struggled for control of a strategic
coastal road and oil industry facilities.
A Libyan warplane
bombed just beyond the walls of a military base held by rebels in the
eastern town of Ajdabiyah on Friday but did not hit it, rebel volunteers
guarding the facility said.
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"We were sat here, heard the jet, then the explosion and the earth
shook. They fell outside the walls," said Hassan Faraj, who was guarding
an ammunitions store at the Haniyeh base.
guard, Aziz Saleh, said two rockets had been fired. They had landed just
outside the walls of the base, he said.
US President Barack
Obama said he was concerned a bloody stalemate could develop between
Gaddafi and rebel forces but gave no sign of a willingness to intervene
holding the port city of Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital,
Tripoli, said they had launched counter-attacks against Gaddafi's
forces massing in the area and warned supplies of medicines and baby
milk were running low.
eastern Libya, witnesses said a warplane bombed Brega, an oil terminal
town 800 km (500 miles) east of Tripoli, for the second day on Thursday.
Warplanes also launched two raids against the nearby rebel-held town of
Ajbadiya, witnesses said.
Al Arabiya news network said on Friday
Gaddafi's forces renewed bombing of the Libyan oil terminal of Brega,
but three sources in the town said they were not aware of any new
The Pentagon said there was evidence Gaddafi's forces
were dropping ordnance but it was not clear if warplanes were bombing
Gaddafi's forces deploy throughout country
Zawiyah, residents said Gaddafi's forces had deployed in large numbers
over the past days. "We estimate there are 2,000 on the southern side of
town and have gathered 80 armored vehicles from the east," resident
Ibrahim said, adding a battalion had also come from the west side.
our youths are not sitting idle. We killed two of their men last night
and operations like these allow us to build up our arsenal. We have
already seized 10 to 15 of the army's tanks and a large number of
Kalashnikovs," he said.
His account could not immediately be verified.
government says it is not using military force to retake rebel-held
cities although one official did not rule it out if all other options
On Thursday, Venezuela
said Gaddafi had agreed to its proposal for an international commission
to negotiate an end to the turmoil in the world's 12th largest oil
exporting nation. Venezuela hopes Brazil's former President Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva could head the peace commission, a government source said.
'No need for foreign mediation'
son Saif al Islam said there was no need for foreign mediation in the
crisis, a leader of the uprising rejected talks with the veteran leader
and the Arab League said cautiously the plan was "under consideration".
Paris, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said France and Britain
would support the idea of setting up a no-fly zone over Libya if
Gaddafi's forces continued to attack civilians.
But Juma Amer,
secretary for African affairs at the Libyan Foreign Ministry, told
journalists: "Media reports that civilian areas were bombed are false."
said Brega was bombed to scare off militia fighters and to gain control
of oil installations. "The bombs (were) just to frighten them to go
away," he told Britain's Sky News.
On the ground, rebels leading
the unprecedented popular revolt pushed their front line west of Brega.
They said they had driven back troops loyal to Gaddafi to Ras Lanuf,
site of another major oil terminal, 600 km (400 miles) east of Tripoli.