Libyan gov't forces regain control of Zawiya

Updated: 2011-03-06 11:55


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TRIPOLI - The Libyan government forces have completely regained control of Zawiya, some 40 km west of the country' s capital of Tripoli after the two-day fighting, Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Khalid Kilba told reporters Saturday.

The official also confirmed that the government forces have been engaged in fighting with anti-government insurgents in al- Brega and Ras Lanuf, two major oil export port cities in east of the country.

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The north African country is witnessing the largest-ever unrest for the past four decades, which broke up in February in the eastern city of Benghazi. The massive protests, demanding an end to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule, escalated into violent clashes between anti-government protesters and pro-Gaddafi troops.

Khalid said that the government forces reclaimed 31 tanks in the fighting in Zawiya, which were captured by anti-government militia. Some part of Zawiya city had been occupied by the protesters for more than a week.

Khalid also represented some video and files to prove that some soldiers killed by anti-government protesters were from Libyan air defense forces, not mercenaries from African countries.

Earlier reports said the regime hired some African mercenaries against the protesters, which had been denied by the government.

Until now, Tripoli is still heavy guarded by the troops loyal to Gaddafi. The capital has witnessed some protests after Friday prayer. Some 100 protesters clashed with the supporters of Gaddafi in downtown Tripoli, and the police fired teargas to disperse them, a witness said.


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