Libyan gov't forces attack rebel-held city

09:34, March 17, 2011      

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Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have launched a major attack on the rebel-held city of Misurata, 200 km east of capital Tripoli, killing at least five people, Al-Jazeera TV reported Wednesday.

Wednesday's attack came as Gaddafi's forces prepared to push further towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi in the country's east.

An Armed Forces statement read on state TV dubbed the offensive as a humanitarian operation to save the people of "beloved Benghazi" and said troops would not take revenge on rebels if they surrendered.

Gaddafi, meanwhile, appeared on TV late Tuesday, denouncing the international community's talks of imposing a no-fly zone on Libya.

Libyan government forces loyal to Gaddafi recaptured the eastern town of Ajdabiya on Tuesday, the Libyan state TV reported.

Inspired by streets-born protests which had swept Tunisia and Egypt and forced their leaders to step down, thousands of Libyans have started a string of protests against Gaddafi, in power for 42 years.

Source: Xinhua
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