Pro-Gaddafi forces have encircled the western Libyan city of Zawiyah. Checkpoints have been set up on roads leading in and out. The government forces are attempting to crush the rebels by cutting off any help from the outside.
Fighting inside the city continues, with reports that 30 people have been killed since the pro-Gadddafi assault began on Saturday morning.
One eyewitness inside the city described the scene: “They’re bombing the city now. Gaddafi’s forces are using tanks, anti-aircraft guns and Kalashnikovs. Fire is coming from all sides, and there’s considerable resistance from the rebels.”
Asked if the rebels could continue to hold out, the man replied: “When I see the morale of young people, I think they’re going to resist until the end.”
Rebel success in Zawiyah is significant as it is only 50 kilometres from the capital, Tripoli, which is still under government control.
Zawiyah also holds great strategic importance in the battle for control of Libya’s oil as it holds the main export terminal for western part of the country. Fighting remains fierce as each side battles to gain the upper hand.