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Anti-Kadhafi rebels flee Ras Lanuf

Reuters/Asmaa Waguih

Forces fighting Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi on Thursday fled Ras Lanuf, the coastal oil town that they captured last week under heavy shelling and rocket attacks from Kadhafi forces.


Dozens of vehicles retreated from Ras Lanuf Thursday. Some groups of rebels appeared to have stayed in town, but fighters leaving the city said they had been defeated.


Kadhafi’s loyalists had started shelling several kilometres to the west of the town and had been making their way towards the centre.

Doctors had evacuated the hospital earlier, after at least four rockets struck the centre of the town.

Kadhafi’s forces won control of Zawiyah, west of Tripoli, Wednesday night after an assault that lasted several days.

France, meanwhile, after recognising the opposition as the representatives of the people on Thursday, will back military action against Libya.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will propose targeted air strikes against the country when he meets with EU leaders in Brussels on Friday, a source told the AFP news agency.

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