Libyan rebels claim to have repulsed Gaddafi forces and won the battle for Brega.
The eastern oil port was the first counter offensive by the Libyan leader, but it did not go all the rebels way. Government troops briefly captured the oil terminal but despite their greater fire power they were apparently forced to retreat.
The assault on the town, which is a gateway to the east for Gaddafi, has been the most significant military operation by him since the uprising erupted in mid-February. The US has warned it could set off a confrontation which has a chance of descending into a long civil war.
As night fell Brega was full of jubilant people. There is a belief that Gaddafi’s men do not have the stomach for the job.
But despite the relief there is concern the attack was backed by air strikes and Gaddafi has vowed to fight until the last man and woman.