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March 29th, 2011
08:09 PM ET

Rebels lose ground in Libya as Gadhafi forces go on the offensive

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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soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. nell

    Is there any wonder why the rebels are loosing ground? Looks as if Gadhafi knows our moves. With the msm demanding the President come out and speak about tactics such as.. the end game,the cost, no boots on the ground etc. At times such as this, the media should calm down, do we really want Gadhafi to know how far and fast the rebels have gone, do we really need him to know whose going to supply weapons. Could this be damaging to our national security? These are questions I want answered. Speaking of impeaching our President,
    Geez...

    March 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
  2. John Moore - PA

    Seems like a high stakes game. When the rebels retreat government forces follow but in doing so expose themselves to air attack. Each time the Gadhafi forces are depleted more. Eventually the rebels will have a more equally equipped adversary.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  3. Patrick

    Bin Jawad came under intense and heavy bommardment from the rebels today and as I watched on TV news I thought to myself – that town is bound to have civilians like women, old men and children inside it.

    The fire from the rebels included RPG 7 rocket launchers and Russian so – called Stalin,screaming mouth organs, Ketyisha rockets, all indiscriminate weapons at the best of times, not accurate at all to hit or pinpoint targets. If civilians are being killed on the Gadhafi side why aren't the allied airforces protecting the civilians on the other side as well by bombing the rebels?

    March 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    Would Gadhafi even honor a cease-fire or instead verbally agree to it and then let his forces continue what they are already doing and blame it on the rebel forces? The man lies about everything; not much reason to think he would all of the sudden start telling the truth and honoring his promises now.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:40 pm |