Libyan army, rebels battle in Brega

Aug. 13, 2011 at 7:06 PM
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BREGA, Libya, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Libyan rebels are fighting government forces for control of the oil town Brega, authorities say.

Col. Ahmed Omar Bani, a spokesman for the Libyan rebels, said Saturday the insurgent forces are trying to wrest control of a second residential district in the eastern part of the oil town, the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.

However, embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's troops still held the western parts of Brega, where the oil facilities are located.

Bani says the captured areas will not be retaken by Gadhafi's troops.

Meanwhile, the Gadhafi government denied the rebels had taken over any part of Brega, CNN reported.

"They are not in Brega," Libyan Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim said Friday.

National Transitional Council spokesman Guma El-Gamaty told CNN that rebels had taken control of Tawargha, where Gadhafi forces had been launching missiles on the rebel stronghold town of Misurata.

"Rebels are meeting far less resistance than expected," he said. "They think Gadhafi forces are in a state of shock and have almost collapsed. They are in a very poor state so they expect to over run them quickly."

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