Libyan rebels 'push west' after securing Ras Lanuf

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Libyan rebels 'push west' after securing Ras Lanuf

Libyan rebels 'push west' after securing Ras Lanuf
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A rebel soldier stabbed at an already defaced poster of Colonel Gaddafi with his gun, to illustrate his contempt for the despised Libyan dictator.

Rebel forces in Ras Lanuf have been consolidating their position after securing the strategic oil port 600 kilometres east of Tripoli.

The rebels’ flag has again been flying following a fierce battle on Friday, and there has reportedly been no sign of pro-Gaddafi soldiers.

As well as erasing signs and symbols of the hated Gaddafi regime, the rebels are said to have been bringing in more weapons.

“The goal in front of us is to topple the regime. There weren’t many casualties yesterday despite the fact that they were more powerful than us,” said Colonel Saleh Al-Theytouri, a Libyan army officer recently defencted to the rebel forces.

A group of rebels chanted as they celebrated. Their confidence might suggest otherwise, but yesterday the Libyan government denied that the opposition was in control of the town.

Friday’s battles in this area and an explosion at a Benghazi arms depot left an estimated three dozen dead.

A Reuters camera crew was shown around a compound and residence the rebels said belonged to Muammar Gaddafi.

There was evidence of fire among the damage and debris.

The rebels said they were pushing further west. There have been claims that they have seized one town about 60 kilometres from Ras Lanuf.

After Friday’s fighting, in this part of the east the rebels seem to be firmly in control.