Gadhafi Sics Tanks on Women, Children
People are trapped as tanks, troops descend, say witnesses
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Mar 9, 2011 3:41 AM CST
An injured rebel fighter is brought to a hospital yesterday.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi has sent in tanks in a bid to crush the rebellion in the refinery town of Zawiyah, cutting down women and children, witnesses report. Defeat of rebel forces in the town just 30 miles from Tripoli—already claimed twice by the government—could mark a turning point for Gadhafi. Buildings have been destroyed by air strikes, and Zawiyah residents killed in a hail of bullets in a marked escalation of violence, reports the Guardian. Up to 50 tanks and scores of trucks packed with troops have descended on the town.

"Gadhafi forces are trying to destroy the city," a refugee quoted a friend as saying. "People cannot run away, it's cordoned off." Rebels were "calling people from speakers to help defend the town," said another man. America and its European allies are edging closer to providing some kind of aid to the beleaguered rebels, from blocking blocking arms deliveries to Gadhafi to shipping humanitarian supplies to the opposition forces, reports the Washington Post.