Sunday, June 12, 2011

Troops surround Gadhafi Libyan city after fighting with rebels

.- Troops loyal to the Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi on Saturday surrounded Zliten City, about 160 kilometers east of Tripoli, said rebels emerged after fighting in the area that could open the coastal road towards the capital. Sporadic clashes between forces and rebels continued Gadhafi in Zliten, said a spokesman for the insurgents after they took control of parts of the city.

He said the situation was calmer on Friday and that the figure stood at 22 dead fighters. "Zliten is still surrounded by the troops of Gadhafi and they are threatening to residents, telling them that if they do not give their women are raped," said the spokesman Ahmed Bani. It was not possible to independently verify the claims of the rebels.

There was no immediate comment from the government of Gadhafi. Zliten is one of the three areas largely controlled by the government lying between Misrata - in the hands of the rebels - and the capital. If it falls into the hands of the insurgents, could allow the revolt spread from Misrata, the largest insurgent stronghold in western Libya to Tripoli.

Gadhafi forces also bombed for the first time in the morning the heritage city of Gadamis, located about 600 kilometers southwest of Tripoli, on the border between Tunisia and Algeria, opening a new front in the five-month civil war. A Reuters correspondent in Tripoli did not hear new NATO bombing Saturday.

Rebels at various points of conflict also said there were no airstrikes by Western forces in the capital. World powers have given mixed signals about how the war could develop, with Russia trying to mediate towards a reconciliation. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Tayuip said Friday it had offered a "guarantee" to Gadhafi when Libya abandoned, but received no response.

Standing with diplomacy, fighting on new fronts are emerging. Rebels said the Gadamis town, situated in an oasis with a population of seven thousand inhabitants, was under bombardment after a protest against the Government on Friday. "Gadamis is being bombarded by the forces of Gadhafi, according to witnesses in the city," the spokesman said Juma Ibrahim from the Zinta city in the Western Mountains.

"This is a retaliation for protests against the regime," he said. The ancient city was depoblada by Gadhafi in the 1990's and its inhabitants moved to modern buildings. It was unclear if the attack reached the old city, a maze of narrow passages and subterranean houses known as the "Pearl of the Desert." The accounts Gadamis could not be verified independently and the Government did not comment.

In the besieged port of Misrata, a doctor said 31 people died and 110 were injured by bombing Gaddafi forces on Friday. One rebel said Misrata was calm on Saturday.

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