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Libya

I will never leave, says Kadhafi as rebels press offensive

Reuters/Louafi Larbi

In Libya, fresh blasts were heard in the capital Tripoli on Sunday while 13 other explosions were heard late Saturday night. The targets are unknown, but state television said Nato forces hit civilian and military sites in the Ain Zara district, and Tajoura, in the eastern suburbs of Tripoli. 

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Libya's rebels on Saturday suffered their heaviest casualties in recent weeks in an offensive on the oil town of Brega. Hospital sources in nearby Ajdabiya said 12 people were killed and more than 170 wounded by landmines and rocket attacks.

Rebels said their advance on Brega was slowed by the discovery of defensive trenches around the city that had been filled with flammable chemicals.

A small rebel reconnaissance unit from the north made it to the town late Friday before falling back. A rebel commander says troops were also moving “slowly but surely” towards the town from the south and the east.

The rebels are currently positioned around four kilometres from Brega in their northern approach and within sight of the town from the east.

Meanwhile, leader Moamer Kadhafi remains defiant in the face of fresh international calls for him to go saying he will never leave the land of his ancestors.

In a loudspeaker address to supporter in Zawiyah, some 50 kilometres west of Tripoli he said “I am ready to sacrifice myself for my people… I will never quit this land sprinkled with the blood of my ancestors.”

On Friday, Western and regional powers gathered in Istanbul, Turkey, for the fourth meeting of the Libya contact group. They issued a new call for Kadhafi to quit after more than four decades in power.
 

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