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Libyan rebel forces enter Zawiyah: rebel sources

(Xinhua)

17:14, August 14, 2011

BENGHAZI, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The Libyan rebels have made advance in the west front by entering Zawiyah city, about 40 km west of the capital Tripoli, after fierce battles with leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces, a rebel official said on Saturday.

Abdul Muhammad, from the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC), said the rebel soldiers had entered Zawiyah from both south and west sides. Zawiyah is located on the main highway from the capital to Tunisia, which has been a lifeline for the Libyan government.

In the east, Libyan rebels are fighting for a second residential district in the oil town of Brega, said Ahmed Omar Bani, a military spokesman at a regular press conference on Saturday.

The rebels had captured one of the three residential districts of Brega on Thursday, but Gaddafi's forces still hold western parts of the town where oil facilities are located.

Bani, meanwhile, confirmed with Xinhua via telephone that the rebel forces had entered Zawiyah in the west front. Rebels in Benghazi fired gunshots to celebrate the victory.

However, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said Zawiyah is "absolutely" under the government's control, adding the rebels were stopped easily by Gaddafi's forces.

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