Libya: rebels advance, as coalition deals fresh air strikes

The international coalition forces on Sunday evening dealt new air strikes on the Libyan capital and Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold of Sirte. According to witnesses, some ten powerful explosions were heard in these cities and their environs.

Earlier it was reported that French aircraft had destroyed armored vehicles and a weapons cache of the Libyan army to the east of Tripoli. Recent days were keynoted by fierce fighting in the north and east of the country between rebels and government forces in key oil towns. The western coalition is providing support to the rebels’ advance.

The conflict in Libya began in mid-February. Mass protests against the regime of Muammar Gaddafi spiraled into armed confrontation, which, according to human rights organizations, has claimed thousands of innocent lives.

On March 17 the UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing no-fly zones over Libya. It thus sanctioned an international military operation against the army loyal to Gaddafi.

On Sunday night, NATO officially took over command of “Odyssey Dawn” operation in Libya.

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