Heavy Gunfire in Tripoli, but Gov't Denies Fighting

Libyan government calls fire 'celebrations'
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2011 5:28 AM CST
Anti-Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi rebels in the oil town of Ras Lanouf yesterday. Heavy arms fire was reported being heard in Tripoli this morning, but a government spokesman denied there was fighting.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

(Newser) – The fighting in Libya has moved into Tripoli, with heavy machine-gun fire reported in the capital early this morning for the first time in the uprising's two-week history, reports Reuters. But it is unclear just who was involved, and the government denies there is any fighting at all: "These are celebrations because government forces have taken control of all areas to Benghazi and are in the process of taking control of Benghazi," said a government spokesman, referring to the retaking of a town just outside Tripoli.

"I assure you..., there is no fighting going on in Tripoli," said the spokesman. "Everything is safe. Tripoli is 100 percent under control. What you are hearing is celebratory fireworks. People are in the streets, dancing in the square." In addition to heavy arms fire, ambulance sirens and car horns were also being heard. The government spokesman added: "I would like to advise not to go there for your safety."

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