Libyan Rebels Lose Last Western Stronghold
Gadhafi's forces have captured Zwara, witnesses say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 15, 2011 6:32 AM CDT
In this photo taken Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011 a resident rips a copy of Libyan Leader Moammar Gadhafi's "Green Book" in protest near the main square in Zawiya, 30 miles west of Tripoli, in Libya.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

(Newser) – Libyan rebels lost their last western stronghold yesterday, the AP reports. According to witnesses, Moammar Gadhafi’s forces captured Zwara, which was the last city west of Tripoli formerly held by the rebels. The victory gives Gadhafi a complete hold on Libya’s western stretch of coastline, and though rebels still have strongholds in the east, his forces are advancing there as well.

Rebels say the government troops used heavy tank and artillery fire to take back Zwara, one of the first towns seized by the rebels, and they promised to fight back even as the troops celebrated. Meanwhile, the AP reports that the oil port of Brega—previously reported to have been retaken by Gadhafi’s forces—is still split between the two sides after days of clashes. Fighting is going on between Brega and Ajdabiya, and rebels say they are fortifying Ajdabiya against a potential assault.
 

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