Libyan Rebels Attempt Advance in Zlitan

Posted August 2nd, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
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Libyan troops and rebels are battling near the western town of Zlitan, where rebel fighters are trying to seize control of the area from forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

Reports from the scene are scarce, but the French News Agency quotes a rebel military spokesman Tuesday as saying opposition fighters have advanced closer to the town's center. Al-Jazeera, however, reports that several rebel fighters there say they had to pull back when government troops attacked their positions just outside the town.

Reuters news agency reports hospital workers saying the clashes have killed at least seven rebels and wounded more than 60 others.

Meanwhile, the U.S. representative to Libya's opposition Transitional National Council , Chris Stevens, says the world has lined up against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his base is “shaking.” Stevens told reporters in Washington that the rebel council was making progress diplomatically, financially and militarily.

More than 30 countries, including the United States, France and Britain, have recognized the opposition council as Libya's interim government. France said it released $259 million in frozen Libyan funds to the TNC for humanitarian needs on Monday.

Stevens also commented on various peace proposals that would allow Mr. Gadhafi to stay in Libya if he steps down as Libyan leader. He said that idea is “highly controversial” among members of the Transitional National Council, which he added is a reflection of Libyan society, including various factions with differing points of view.