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Africa

Rival forces battle for key Libyan oil town of Brega

media Rebel forces in retreat from Brega Reuters/Andrew Winning

Fighting for control of the key Libyan oil town Brega continued on Sunday with an advance by rebels forces later countered by troops loyal to leader Moamer Kadhafi. Rebel fighters who had entered the frontline eastern town early on Sunday said they were staging a tactical withdrawal after being ambushed.

 

Brega has been the scene of intense exchanges for several days with both sides advancing only to pull back under fire. On Saturday, the rebels claimed to have recaptured Brega, some 800 kilometres from the capital Tripoli, but pro-Kadhafi snipers were said to be still active and were holed up in city's university.

A rebel spokesman in Libya's third largest city, Misrata, also reported fierce fighting over the weekend. He said Kadhafi's forces had tried to enter the city on three fronts, but were pushed back. Two rebels were killed in the fighting.

Meanwhile, a former Libyan foreign minister and UN General Assembly president, Ali Treiki, has become the latest in a string of officials to leave the Kadhafi regime. Treiki, is the second high profile offical to resign this week, after the defection of foreign minister and Kadhafi regime stalwart Mussa Kussa who landed in Britain.

Treiki has resigned his official duties as adviser to Kadhafi but did not pledge alliance to the rebels.

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