Kadhafi opponents and loyalists battle for oil sites

Reuters/Michael Helgren

Opponents of embattled Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi prepared for further attacks by his supporters on Friday as both sides grappled for control of an important coast road and oil industry facilities.


Anti-Kadhafi forces holding the port city of Zawiyah, 50 kilometres west of Tripoli, said they had been launching counter-attacks against Kadhafi forces massing in the area.


And they report an air strike near a military base on the western outskirts of the rebel-held town of Ajdabiya, causing no casualties or damage.

In the east of the country witnesses said a warplane bombed Brega, an oil terminal town 800 kilometres east of the captial, for the second day on Thursday.

In Benghazi, the opposition National Libyan Council, set up by defecting minister Mustapha Abdel-Jalil, has called for foreign intervention to stop government air strikes on the opposition fighters.

The International Criminal Court said it would investigate Kadhafi and his sons for crimes against humanity.

Following reports that Kadhafi had ordered an intelligence chief to negotiate with the opposition, the council said there was no room for negotiations.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has increased pressure on Kadhafi to step down saying that he has “lost legitimacy to lead and he must leave”.

When asked if he supported a no-fly zone being established in Libya - one of the opposition's key demands - Obama said all options are on the table.

More protests against Kadhafi’s rule are expected after Friday prayers.

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