Rebels make gains close to Tripoli

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Rebels make gains close to Tripoli

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Libyan rebels have launched a new offensive against government forces and claim to be in control of a town less than 80 kilometres from Tripoli.

Bir al- Ghanam is the closest point the rebels have come to Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in the capital.

If confirmed it breaks weeks of stalemate during which rebels have been unable to make big advances despite NATO air strikes.

Meanwhile NATO has kept up the pressure on Tripoli. Several explosions were heard after midnight on Sunday.

Libyan state television said the air strikes had hit civilian and military targets.