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Western strikes boost rebels' bid to take key Libyan city

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Western strikes boost rebels' bid to take key Libyan city

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With coalition bombing of Libyan loyalist positions in Ajdabiyah as support, rebels say they have taken the city’s eastern gate and are looking to move back in.

Recapturing the crossroads to Benghazi is vital if the rising against Colonel Gaddafi is to push to the capital. The rebels, reinforced and better equipped since they were expelled last week, say they now surround the city and an attack is imminent.

Rebel spokesman Mustafa Gheriani is saying they fear “a great crime may have been committed” in Ajdabiyah and that civilian casualties may be heavy.

That is one of the things the air bombardment is seeking to prevent in what NATO today said could be a 90-day campaign. However, air power failed to prevent government tanks re-entering Misrata in the west.