Gadhafi Plants Mines as Libya Rebels Flee
Gadhafi's forces continue to force Libyan rebels' retreat
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2011 6:35 AM CDT
Updated Mar 31, 2011 7:58 AM CDT
Libyan rebels flee an area near the eastern town of Brega on March 31, 2011 during street battles with loyalist forces who were driving around and shooting at people. AFP PHOTO / MAHMUD HAMS   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Moammar Gadhafi’s forces have taken their fight against the Libyan rebels to the next level, sowing land mines around the city of Ajdabiya. The mines include both anti-personnel mines, which much of the world banned in the 1997 Mines Ban Treaty, and anti-tank mines; Gadhafi’s troops likely planted them while occupying the town for 10 days. Though his forces retreated on Saturday, Reuters reports that they are now counterattacking and are back at the gates of the town, just 90 miles south of the rebel capital Benghazi.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi’s forces were also poised last night to take Brega, an oil port the rebels had recaptured just three days prior. Rebels had already been pushed out of Ras Lanuf, and hundreds of rebel fighters were fleeing eastward, leaving Ajdabiya nearly deserted. The disorganized rebel force has backtracked more than 200 miles since early Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports, and are now 130 miles from Ras Lanuf. Just days ago, the rebels made a 150-mile advance in less than 24 hours, closing in on Gadhafi’s hometown, but they have been retreating ever since.