England's White Dragon

England's White Dragon
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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Libyan city Battle rages

Libyan just excuse putting the cost of petrol and diesel up,
as it now hits £1.40/43p a litre in the South of England, if the prices don’t come
back down soon, England will be at unrest as motors feel the pinch. 
Fierce fighting has rocked Libya's Zawiya, 50km (30 miles)
west of Tripoli, as rebels repelled government efforts to retake the key city. 

Pro-government forces were pushed out of the city centre in
heavy fighting on Saturday morning, but regrouped for a fresh assault later in
the day.
Casualty figures were unclear, but heavy gunfire could be
heard. Meanwhile, rebels fighting Col Muammar Gaddafi have taken
control of the port of Ras Lanuf to the east of Tripoli.
Observers say the overall balance of power is difficult to
assess as the struggle for control over Libya continues. 
In Tripoli, there is an air of growing confidence among
regime loyalists as their control appears to be consolidated in Tripoli and
other central areas. But elsewhere, correspondents say rebel forces have an
enormous determination to overthrow his regime.

Hospital officials in opposition-held Benghazi say the death
toll from a massive explosion at a weapons dump outside the city is at least
19, with the cause of the blast unknown,
Libyan state TV accuses the Netherlands of spying, following
the capture on Sunday of a Dutch navy helicopter and its three-strong crew by
government militias, Rebels show reporters the wreckage of a downed warplane near
Ras Lanuf in eastern Libya
Thousands of migrant workers are on the move, trying to flee
the violence, say officials at the UN's refugee agency. Most of those living in
Benghazi have been evacuated, while about 10,000 others are heading for the
Egyptian border Gaddafi troops 'flee'
The roads around Zawiya have been secured by the Libyan
military. All the major road junctions and plenty of the minor ones have been
protected by tanks and self-propelled guns. 
At some junctions there are four or five tanks. I saw a
column of ten rocket artillery batteries leaving a military base. 
Col Gaddafi's regime is moving to secure its western power
base in and around Tripoli. Despite the forces deployed Zawiya it seems there
is still resistance there. The rebels in the town are very isolated though,
effectively cut off. In the east rebels are making progress against Col Gaddafi's
men. That will be worrying the regime, which needs its forces to be prepared to
stand and fight against well motivated rebels.
Gaining control of Zawiya would be crucial to Colonel
Gaddafi's effort to defend his stronghold in Tripoli, correspondents say.
Reports from the coastal city said it had come under attack
from both east and west from well-armed government forces in large numbers of
tanks and armoured vehicles.
Heavy gunfire was heard in the central square as the rebels
fought back using weapons they had captured earlier. 
Pro-government tanks had circled the area in preparation for
the fresh attack, shelling central areas of the city, where fires burned under
a cloud of dense black smoke.
Earlier, Zawiya resident and rebel supporter Mohammed told
the BBC that pro-Gaddafi troops "came from east and west and they took up
positions in high-rise buildings... and started shooting".
He said some tanks were captured and burnt near the town
square, and that there were jubilant celebrations from the rebels as the
pro-Gaddafi forces fled.
Another Zawiya resident, Hussein, said many civilians had
been killed, including women and children - as up to 40 cars filled with
soldiers attacked backed up by tanks and anti-aircraft guns.
"There are people dying everywhere. It is a disaster
what is happening in Zawiya. We really need some help," Hussein told the London
 Government forces were pushed out of Zawiya early on Saturday but regrouped for a fresh assault
later A doctor in the city said at least 30 people had died in
Saturday's fighting.

In Ras Lanuf, an oil port east of Sirte - a key Gaddafi
stronghold and his hometown - rebels have now taken control, according to a BBC
correspondent who reached the town on Saturday morning.

Pro-Gaddafi forces who had been in the town were believed to
have moved about 40km (25 miles) to the west. 

They had withdrawn to Ras Lanuf two days ago after a battle
a little further east in Brega. 
The UN estimates that more than 1,000 people have been
killed in the violence in Libya, as the world’s madness continues.

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