Number of Libyans Needing Aid: 1M
Rebels reject Gadhafi associate's call for dialogue
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Mar 7, 2011 11:15 AM CST
A anti-Gadhafi rebel, stand on a vehicle holding several RPGs at an advance check point between the oil town of Ras Lanouf and Bin-Jawad town, eastern Libya, Monday, March 7, 2011.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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(Newser) – Government forces have launched new attacks on rebel-held towns of Zawiyah and Ras Lanuf amid UN calls for increased aid to the region, Reuters reports. More than a million people—both those inside Libya and fleeing the country—now need humanitarian assistance, the UN said. Its aid coordinator is particularly worried about Misrata, the biggest city in the west not under Gadhafi's control, where rebels are reeling from attacks by a force led by his son. "People are injured and dying and need help immediately," she said.

Meanwhile, a Gadhafi associate called for a dialogue with rebel leaders, but rebels rejected the offer as Moammar Gadhafi warned Europe of a refugee “invasion” if his regime crumbles. In continuing violence, a warplane fired a pair of rockets at rebel-held Ras Lanuf in the east; no deaths were reported. Closer to the capital, government forces sought to reclaim Zawiyah. Though the government “feels momentum on its side,” said an analyst, “we are seeing extremely poor fighting skills by government forces, and reasonably competent fighting by the rebels.”