Warnings of more violence in western Libya

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Warnings of more violence in western Libya

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Armed rebels have set up checkpoints to control access to Nalut in western Libya.

They overran the town on Monday and want to stop it falling back into the hands of forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. The Libyan leader has reportedly deployed his army to the area in an attempt to reassert control of the region.

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A few kilometres east in Adjabiya, several military weapons stores were attacked from the air. People in the town think the aim was to prevent Gaddafi’s enemies from using the weapons against him.

Libya’s wave of revolt has spread from the east. Gaddafi is dug in in Tripoli, the capital.

Both sides have become entrenched and experts say the direction the uprising takes next could depend on who can hold out the longest.

There have been numerous defections to the rebel cause, and harsh international sanctions have been imposed. Some experts say Gaddafi’s hold on power has never been so weak but the Libyan leader appeared unconcerned in an interview yesterday.

Gaddafi’s remarks that the Libyan people still loved him prompted the US to label him “delusional.”

For many in the international community, the question now is, how long can Gaddafi last?