CNN Wire Staff
Tripoli, Libya (CNN) - Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi went on the attack Tuesday, pushing opposition fighters back to the outskirts of a key oil town, rebels said, as world diplomats met in London to discuss the future of the North African nation.
Opposition fighters in Bin Jawad battled Gadhafi forces and came under a hail of artillery and rocket attacks, a rebel source said. CNN saw rebel fighters streaming back out of the city, beating what looked to be a hasty retreat. One said the barrage was too much for the opposition to withstand, and that Gadhafi loyalists had infiltrated Bin Jawad.
Rebel forces regrouped in the nearby city of Ras Lanuf, a key oil town that they said they seized on Sunday. They came under heavy fire on the western edge of the city, said the rebels, who responded in kind, firing back with whatever weapons were available.
Tuesday's fighting marked a reversal of the momentum of the opposition, which until recently had faced relatively little resistance in its westward march.
Elsewhere in Libya, three loud explosions were heard in Tripoli. The blasts came within about 20 minutes. It was the first time since the uprising began that such blasts were heard during daylight in the Libyan capitol.
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