Libya rebels brace for new attack

2011-03-03 09:11

Ajdabiya, Libya – Libyan rebels rushed to reinforce the key eastern oil port of Brega today, fearing a new onslaught a day after routing forces loyal to strongman Muammer Gaddafi.

The ragtag opposition army readied anti-aircraft guns and manned checkpoints amid reports of fresh air strikes in the Mediterranean coastal town by Gaddafi’s forces, AFP reporters said.

“Gaddafi’s forces are preparing another attack for today” so more forces from the nearby town of Ajdabiya have moved to Brega to join the fighting, Mahmoud al-Fakhri said as he manned a checkpoint at the exit of Ajdabiya.

He said he had heard that there had been more air strikes in Brega, but this could not be confirmed independently.

Pro-Gaddafi forces with heavy weaponry attacked Brega at dawn yesterday in their biggest counter-offensive yet since the uprising against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule erupted on February 15 in eastern Libya.

Despite air strikes throughout the day, the rebels managed to push the regime’s forces out of the town, sparking celebrations – which were themselves targeted by Gaddafi’s fighter jets.

On the western edge of Ajdabiya, another group were readying an anti-aircraft battery, loading it with ammunition.

“We are ready and we’re happy to support,” said Driss Abheh Adul-Wahad as he supervised the loading of shells into the guns.

He said 12 rebels were killed in the fighting yesterday.

Rebel command in the opposition headquarters of Benghazi, Libya’s main eastern city, said yesterday that between 10 to 15 were killed.

In Ajdabiya, streets were empty early today and there were no visible signs of tension.

Gaddafi warned yesterday that “thousands” would die if the West launched a military intervention in Libya, following calls by some opposition figures for western airstrikes against the regime.

The patchwork Libyan opposition controls swathes of eastern and western Libya including Benghazi and some oil installations.

Gaddafi remains firmly in control of the capital Tripoli.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.