Libyan rebels advance on Kadhafi's stronghold
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Two strong explosions rocked the Libyan capital, Tripoli, late Friday night as rebels say they were preparing on Saturday to push forward in their two-pronged advance on the city from the south and west.
On Friday, the rebels advanced to less than two kilometres from the centre of the coastal town Zliten, situated in the eastern district Misrata.
To the south of Tripoli the rebels are fighting in the Nafusa mountains. Nato’s military spokesman, Wing Commander Mike Bracken, said “anti-Kadhafi forces look to have the initiative and are able to launch successful attacks against pro-Kadhafi forces.”
However Kadhafi’s forces still hold two key cities west of the capital, Zawiyah and Zuwarah, and are “rearming, regrouping and fighting in places such as Kikla, Misrata and Dafnia,” he added.
Despite the rebel advance, the Libyan leader remains defiant claiming on Friday that the regime will never fall.
“Nato is wrong if it thinks it can topple the regime of this country,” Kadhafi told thousands of supporters in Sabha, some 750 kilometres south of Tripoli in an audio message.
Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives has voted to forbid the Pentagon from arming, training and advising Libyan rebels.
The measure needs Senate approval and a signature by US President Barack Obama before it becomes a law. It may face strong opposition in the Senate, where Senator John McCain has criticised the vote as “deeply disturbing”.
McCain, a strong supporter of the rebels battling to oust Kadhafi, warned that it “sends exactly the wrong message to Kadhafi and those fighting for freedom and democracy in Libya, especially since Kadhafi is clearly crumbling.”
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