3 Apr 2011

Libya rebels battle Gaddafi forces in Brega

10:02 pm on 3 April 2011

Heavy fighting between Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi has resumed on the outskirts of the key oil town of Brega.

The rebels had claimed to have recaptured the town, 800 kilometres east of the capital Tripoli but pro-Gaddafi snipers are said to be still active and others are apparently holed up in the university.

A rebel spokesman in Libya's third biggest city, Misrata, 210km east of the capital, also reported fierce fighting.

Meanwhile, NATO is looking into reports of civilian deaths in a coalition air strike near Brega.

The chief rebel spokesman said that coalition warplanes had killed 13 people, four of them civilians.

Misrata still under attack

At least one person was killed and several were wounded when forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi shelled a building in the rebel-held city of Misrata, according to a resident.

They said the shelling hit a building which was previously being used to treat the wounded from fighting in Misrata.

Patients and medical staff had been transferred to another location a few days ago.

Misrata, Libya's third-biggest city, is the last big rebel stronghold left in the west of the country. It has been encircled and under attack for weeks.

A doctor in the city says 160 people, most of them civilians, have been killed in the fighting there in the past seven days.

Libyan authorities are not allowing journalists to report freely from the city, which is about 200 kilometres east of Tripoli.