7 Aug 2011

New offensive in Libya

10:34 am on 7 August 2011

Rebels in Libya have launched a new offensive in the west of the country.

After fierce fighting with forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the BBC reports the rebels appear to have captured the town of Bir Ghanem about 80km from Tripoli.

It is the closest they have come to the capital, although it is uncertain if they can keep control of the town.

The rebels say they are now planning to try to move onto the coastal town of Zawiya, which they took at the start of the conflict but were later driven out of by government forces.

Earlier in the week, government forces launched a counter-offensive against rebels near the western town of Zlitan.

Rebels reached its eastern suburbs but were hampered by a lack of ammunition.