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Libyan rebels claim western town

Libyan rebel fighter take a rest at a check point prior heading towards the front line outside the Libyan eastern city Ajdabiya on May 12, 2011, where fighting between rebels and forces loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi is ongoing. Rebels controlled the airport in Misurata, spokesmen for the Libyan rebels said. UPI\Tarek Alhuony.
Libyan rebel fighter take a rest at a check point prior heading towards the front line outside the Libyan eastern city Ajdabiya on May 12, 2011, where fighting between rebels and forces loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi is ongoing. Rebels controlled the airport in Misurata, spokesmen for the Libyan rebels said. UPI\Tarek Alhuony. | License Photo

TRIPOLI, Libya, June 6 (UPI) -- Libyan rebels made a major gain in the west Monday by taking the mountain of Yafran, witnesses said.

Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, citing local media, said Moammar Gadhafi's forces had abandoned the town and rebels were hoisting their flag and tearing down pictures of the dictator.

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The western mountain region is partly populated by the Berber minority, which has joined the revolt.

NATO planes and helicopters attacked government targets around Tripoli early Monday and in the oil port of Brega Sunday, The New York Times reported.

In London, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said Monday the Libya intervention has no deadline.

"We are there for the long haul to protect the Libyan people," he said.

On Sunday, Foreign Secretary William Hague, back from a visit to Benghazi, Libya, said: "We're not going to set a deadline. You're asking about Christmas and who knows? It could be days or weeks or months. It is worth doing."

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