Libya: fighting continues in key towns

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Libya: fighting continues in key towns

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There has been more fierce fighting in Libya between pro-government forces and fighters who want Muammar Gaddafi out. Internet images appeared to show the destruction of a symbol of Gaddafi’s rule – the ‘Green Book.’

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In the key city of Misrata, loyalist forces were reported to have made repeated attacks on the rebels. Witnesses said the battles are centred on the military airbase, and also claimed a government aircraft had been shot down.

Witnesses have also reported government counter-attacks against rebel forces in Zawiyah, home to oil refining, as well as demonstrations in the capital Tripoli itself.

The defiant rhetoric of the leader’s son was matched with action worldwide. The UN Security Council imposed sanctions on the Gaddafi family and the Pentagon moved the US Sixth Fleet closer to provide, it said ‘options and flexibility.’

In Tripoli, the government started handing out cash – the equivalent of 300 euros to each family – Gaddafi’s latest measure to put down the revolt.

The event was shown on state TV. One recipient said: ‘We thank the leader of the revolution (Muammar Gaddafi) for this gift to the Libyan people. God bless him. And don’t listen to the Arabic satellite news channels.’

There is still support for Gaddafi. But it is in stark contrast to the growing calls from world leaders for him to stand down soon.