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Tripoli's access to Tunisian border cut off: rebels

(Xinhua)

09:43, August 16, 2011

BENGHAZI, Libya, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Libyan rebel forces seized Sunday a town 70 km west of Tripoli, an advance that cost them nine soldiers but enabled them to cut off Tripoli's connection to the Tunisian border, according to rebel television "Free Libya".

The rebels have completely controlled the town of Surman, as well as the coastal road leading to Zawiyah, a town 50 km west of the Libyan capital, a rebel spokesperson was quoted as saying. Taking over Surman was aimed at severing Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's supply line from Tunisia.

To the rebels, Surman was the newest trophy of an ongoing multi-pronged offensive toward Tripoli after they entered Zawiyah on Saturday.

The rebels also said they have driven Gaddafi's forces out of Garyan, thus taking control of a key gateway linking the capital to the country's western mountain areas.

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