On Road to Benghazi, Only Ill-Prepared Rebels

Outgunned, anti-Gadhafi forces can barely fight back
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2011 6:03 AM CDT
In this photo taken during a government-organised visit for foreign media, pro-Gadhafi fighters raise their weapons in the air in Bin Jawwad, 350 miles (560 kilometers) southeast of the capital Tripoli,...   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
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(Newser) – The protesters-turned-troops that make up the anti-Gadhafi rebellion in Libya may be full of hope and determination, but they are also terribly outgunned and outmanned, and now the disorganized rebellion appears on the verge of collapse, reports the LA Times. Along the 140-mile desert highway from the rebels' new defensive line in Port Brega to Benghazi, there is not a single heavy gun in place. "Yesterday the ambulance delivered just arms and legs," said the doctor in a small hospital, 45 miles east of Port Brega. "A terrible day, and there will be more."

Most of the rebel forces have only small arms and antiquated weapons, allowing Gadhafi's forces to hit them hard from far away. "I never saw them with my own eyes," said one protester from his hospital bed. "If they would only fight us man to man, we'd destroy them." Without better weapons or a no-fly zone, the rebels have little chance of lasting much longer. "Where is America?" asked one fighter. "All they do is talk, talk, talk. They need to get rid of these planes killing Libyan people." "We won't pull back," said a 23-year-old student-soldier, wearing sneakers and sweat pants. "We'll die here first."

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