Gaddafi forces quit Brega

2011-08-22 21:11

Benghazi - Gaddafi forces quit the frontlines of the eastern oil town of Brega on Monday and are fleeing west towards the strongman's bastion of Sirte, a rebel military spokesperson said.

"Brega is fully under our control," Mohammed Zawiwa told AFP in the rebel headquarters of Benghazi.

"Gaddafi forces have fled west toward Sirte," he added.

Brega, located 240km southwest of the rebel capital of Benghazi, has changed hands several times since the conflict began. It is located on the coastal road from Benghazi to Tripoli.

In late July, the rebellion, supported by Nato planes and helicopters launched an offensive on the strategic town.

Earlier another military spokesperson, Ahmed Omar Bani, said he hoped that troops of veteran Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would "lay down their arms and retreat to Ras Lanuf and Sirte".

Sirte - bastion of the regime and Gaddafi's hometown - and Ras Lanuf are on the road to Tripoli.

Earlier this month the rebels seized most of the residential area of Brega in the eastern part of the city while they continued on battling regime forces in the industrial area in the west.