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Gunfire in Tripoli

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 02:09

Aug. 20 - Residents report fighting in several neighborhoods in Tripoli while the government says it has firm control of Libya's capital. Deborah Lutterbeck reports

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The sound of gunfire in Tripoli. Residents report fighting in several neighborhoods and say opponents of Muammar Gaddafi were in the streets. Not so says the government. Spokesman Moussa Ibrahim took to the airwaves to assure Libyans that Gaddafi is their leader, saying that rebels who surrender would be forgiven. After months of stalemate, rebels have transformed the battlefield this week by seizing the city of Zawiyah west of the capital and cutting off Tripoli. The rebels seized another nearby town on Friday, extending their grip on the strategic coastal highway that links Tripoli to the outside world. In rebel held Benghazi rebel military spokesman Ahmed Bani says his forces now control Zlitan. SOUNDBITE: Rebel Military spokesman Ahmed Bani, saying (Arabic): "After fierce clashes, I am happy to say that Zlitan is entirely liberated and under our control for the first time. More than 30 martyrs lost their lives and 120 fighters were wounded so far." U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman offered his support to rebels and promised to push Gaddafi to step down SOUNDBITE: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman, saying (English): "It is clear that the situation is moving against Gaddafi. The opposition continues to make substantial gains on the ground, while his forces grow weaker. As President Obama and Secretary Clinton have stated, it is time for Gaddafi to go and we firmly believe that his days are numbered." While there is increasing talk of the end game in Libya, the battle for control of the country is not over yet. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters

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Gunfire in Tripoli

Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 02:09