NATO Pushes Gadhafi's Forces Out of Ajdabiya

Airstrikes destroy 25 government tanks in strategic towns
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2011 2:48 PM CDT
The body of a pro-Gadhafi fighter, who rebels said was Algerian but which could not be independently verified, is transported by rebels in the back of a pickup truck in Ajdabiya, Libya, April 10, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

(Newser) – NATO helped to push Moammar Gadhafi’s forces back from the strategic town of Ajdabiya today, with airstrikes hitting killing at least 15 government soldiers. NATO said it destroyed 25 government tanks today, 11 near Ajdabiya and 14 near Misrata, the only rebel-held city in western Libya. Before the airstrikes, Gadhafi’s forces had been attacking both towns, Reuters reports.

After complaining about NATO’s slow response, the rebels praised a heightened approach this weekend. The airstrikes appeared to have turned things around for the rebels in Ajdabiya, where they appeared to be losing control until today; the AP notes that Gadhafi’s forces were pushed back about 40 miles. Meanwhile, envoys from the African Union planned talks with Gadhafi starting today, in an attempt to broker a ceasefire. Click for a report that Libya government forces shot down two US-built helicopters today.

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