Libyan Rebels Fight for Control of Border Road

Taking the road would help ease food, fuel shortages
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2011 9:45 AM CDT
Libyans celebrate the liberation of their district of Qasr Bin Ghashir in Tripoli, Libya, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.   (Sergey Ponomarev)
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(Newser) – Libyan rebels fought for control of a major supply road to the capital today after seizing a border crossing with Tunisia—strengthening their hold on the oil-rich country as they hunt for Moammar Gadhafi. Clearing the road from the Tunisian border to Tripoli would help ease growing shortages of fuel and food, particularly in the battle-scarred capital. A Transitional National Council minister says the rebels already control most of the road, but that regime fighters are shelling it in the area of the city of Zwara, west of Tripoli.

"We hope to be able to control the road today," he told reporters in Tripoli, adding that rebel fighters have taken control of the Tunisian-Libyan crossing known as Ras Ajdir, the gateway to the main road to Tripoli. While fighting has died down in the capital, much of the city remains without electricity and water; streets are strewn with torched cars and stinking garbage; and corpses crowd abandoned hospitals. Meanwhile, in Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, one of the regime's remaining bastions, negotiations are continuing for a peaceful surrender of regime loyalists.

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