Fight for Libya's oil-rich Brega continues

14:42, April 04, 2011      

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A rebel stands at the front line outside Brega in eastern Libya, April 1, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

Heavy fighting between Libya's rebel forces and government troops continued in the eastern oil town of Brega on Sunday.

Brega is one of those cities which have been taken and retaken again and again by rebels and government forces after the Western coalition began air strikes against Gaddafi's forces.

The town is of key importance: It, along with the eastern town of Ras Lanuf, produces the lion's share of Libya's 1.5 million oil barrels of daily exports, which have been radically affected by the uprising since Feb. 15.

Also on Sunday, the Western military alliance said in its daily report that NATO carried out 70 airstrikes over Libya Saturday.

NATO aircraft are enforcing a no-fly zone and protecting civilians by conducting airstrikes in Libya, while the alliance's naval vessels are patrolling the Mediterranean to implement an arms embargo.

NATO aircraft conducted 184 sorties on Saturday, including 70 "strike sorties," the alliance said.

Strike sorties "are intended to identify and engage appropriate targets, but do not necessarily deploy munitions each time," NATO explained.

Since the beginning of the NATO-commanded mission, code-named Unified Protector, since Thursday, a total of 547 sorties and 218 strike sorties have been conducted.

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