Rebel fighters in Libya claim to have taken control of Zawiyah.
This footages appears to show the reaction of residents to rebels entering the western coastal city. Dozens of people ran onto the streets to celebrate, boosting the guerrilla’s confidence of taking Tripoli.
“Today we liberated the city of Gharyan, in the mountains, we liberated Saba, we liberated Zawiya. Tomorrow we will go to Tripoli. Freedom! Freedom! Zawiya Freedom!,” cried one rebel fighter.
If the rebels manage to consolidate their reported gains they hope to cut off Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold in the capital from access to the outside world by severing the coastal highway. But the embattled government says it has successfully beaten back the rebel attempt to take the city.
“A very small group of rebels tried to move into the south of Zawiyah but were stopped easily because of our armed forces,” said government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
There has also been fighting on two eastern fronts, but neither side has reported any major changes in positions near Misrata or around the key oil town and terminal of Brega. Hospital sources say over the past two days, at least 15 rebels and six pro-Gaddafi soldiers have been killed.