man holds pic of Gaddafi_311.
(photo credit: Chris Helgren / Reuters)
Heavy fighting has forced a shutdown of one of Libya's biggest refineries in the flashpoint town of Zawiyah 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, a refinery official said on Wednesday.
"Heavy weapons have been fired nearby and we can't run the refinery under these conditions," the official told Reuters.
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Meanwhile, the tanks of
pro-Gaddafi forces were closing in on the rebel-held main square of the Zawiyah, a rebel fighter said.
fighter, named Ibrahim, said forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar
Gaddafi were in control of the main road and the suburbs of Zawiyah.
Rebel forces still controlled the square and the enemy was about 1,500 metres (yards) away, he said.
Ibrahim said there were army snipers on top of most of the buildings, shooting whoever dared to leave their homes.
He said half the city was destroyed by air attacks.
are many dead people and they can't even bury them. Zawiyah is
deserted. There's nobody on the streets. No animals, not even birds in
the sky," he said.
Rebels had killed a high-ranking cousin of
Gaddafi in fighting earlier in the week, and "that's why he bombed the
city. They wanted to retrieve the body and they did," Ibrahim said.
He said about 60 rebel fighters had gone to attack an army base on Tuesday about 20 kms (12 miles) from Zawiyah.
"None of them has returned and we don't know if they're dead or alive. We haven't heard from them," he said.
Libyan people will take up arms against Western powers if they seek to
enforce a no-fly zone in their country's airspace, Muammar Gaddafi said
in an interview with Turkish state-run television.
"If they take
such a decision it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people
will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and
to steal their oil," Gaddafi said in the interview by broadcast by TRT
news channel on Wednesday.
"Then the Libyan people will take up
arms against them," Gaddafi said. The interview was conducted in Arabic
and aired with Turkish subtitles.
Also on Wednesday, the Pentagon
said the US is still looking at a full range of military options on
Libya, a day before NATO defense ministers gather for a meeting likely
to expand on Western nations' deliberations about a no-fly zone.
press secretary Geoff Morrell told reporters that US Defence Secretary
Robert Gates, who concluded a visit to Afghanistan on Wednesday, was
expected to discuss Libya with counterparts from other NATO nations
during the regular ministerial meeting beginning on Thursday.
are preparing, as we've made clear for days and days now, a range of
military options for the president, including a no-fly zone and each of
those options will also spell out the potential consequences of each
course of action," Morrell said.