Libyan Government Says It Controls Besieged Western Town

Posted August 3rd, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The Libyan government is denying rebel claims that opposition fighters have gained control of the western town of Zlitan.

A spokesman for leader Moammar Gadhafi said Wednesday the city remains under the government's “full control.”

Pro-government and rebel forces have engaged in a series of battles near Zlitan in recent days. Rebels have been seeking to consolidate recent gains around the town.

Tuesday, rebels and medical officials said a counter-attack by pro-Gadhafi forces had killed at least seven opposition fighters and left at least 30 wounded.

Meanwhile, an international media group has condemned NATO airstrikes on a Libyan television station. In a statement Wednesday, the International Federation of Journalists said the allied bombing violates international law by threatening the lives of journalist.

Saturday, the Libyan government said three journalists were killed in a NATO airstrike on the state television station in Tripoli. NATO said it bombed three Libyan satellite dishes in the capital in an effort to prevent Mr. Gadhafi from using television broadcasts to “oppress and threaten” the Libyan people.

In a separate development, the family of the Libyan rebel military leader assassinated last week says his powerful tribe may take justice into its own hands if opposition leaders fail to reveal who was behind the killing.

General Abdel Fattah Younis' family on Tuesday demanded an open investigation and speedy trial for those responsible for his death.

The opposition general was murdered after he was summoned back from the front lines by his superiors, prompting speculation the killing may have been an inside job. No arrests have been made.