Libyan rebels claim to be closing in on capturing the key oil town of Brega, but they have suffered several casualties in the last 24 hours.
Hospital sources say around 11 anti-Gaddafi fighters were killed and up to 50 others wounded in the latest offensive.
Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaim said the rebels are 20km away on the outskirts of Brega but Gaddafi’s troops are holding firm.
“Our army dealt with the rebels but unfortunately more than 20 of them were killed and others hurt. I wouldn’t have wanted Libyans to die for the dreams of Sarkozy and Cameron,” he added.
The rebels have taken the residential zone of New Brega however that is around 15 km from the oil terminal and port area. Capturing the port, some 750 km east of the capital, Tripoli, could be a tipping point in their nearly six-month campaign to oust Gaddafi.