Report: Libyan rebels reach oil town of Ras Lanuf

Muammar Gaddafi's troops pushed further east as fighting continues; Pope Benedict calls for the "suspension of the use of arms."

By REUTERS
March 27, 2011 13:07
1 minute read.
A rebel fighter runs for cover

Rebel fighter 520. (photo credit: REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic)

 
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Libyan rebels have entered the oil-exporting town of Ras Lanuf after routing Muammar Gaddafi's troops further east, a rebel fighter told Reuters on the road to Ras Lanuf.

"There is no Gaddafi army in Ras Lanuf," said the fighter, Walid al-Arabi, quoting rebels who had returned from the town.

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He said he believed the front line was now west of Ras Lanuf.


Earlier Sunday, An Al Jazeera correspondent said the rebels had reached Uqayla, more than 110 kilometers (68 miles) west of Ajdabiyah and the last town traveling west before the major oil exporting terminal of Ras Lanuf.

Also on Sunday amidst the fighting,  Pope Benedict called for the "suspension of the use of arms" in the Libya crisis, an appeal that appeared to include the use of outside force.

Speaking at his Sunday blessing, he said he was addressing his appeal to "international bodies," and "those who hold military and political responsibility."


On Saturday, Libyan rebel fighters reached the outskirts of the oil-exporting town of Brega after taking Ajdabiyah from Muammar Gaddafi's forces, a rebel spokesman said.

"They are now, as we speak, on the outskirts of the city of Brega," Colonel Ahmed Bani, a rebel military spokesman, said at a news conference in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi. Brega is 70 km to the west of Ajdabiyah.

Bani said the recapture by rebels of Ajdabiyah, a gateway from western Libya to Benghazi, meant "the winds of change have now started to blow."

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