Forces loyal to embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi have stormed a hospital and gunned down several people near the capital as revolutionary forces shot down two helicopters in the north.
The regime forces backed by tanks launched a fresh assault in Zawiya, 50 Kilometers west of Tripoli, on Saturday, opening heavy mortar fire on houses and raiding a hospital.
Fresh fighting comes hours after revolutionary forces repelled an effort by government forces to retake the city.
The opposition says forces loyal to Gaddafi were pushed back and left the center of the city early on Saturday following heavy overnight fighting.
Witnesses say opposition forces set a number of tanks on fire and arrested some Gaddafi forces.
However, pro-Gaddafi forces have reportedly encircled Zawiyah preparing for fresh attacks.
Fighting has been going on since Friday. At least 30 people, including women and children, have been killed.
Meanwhile, armed protesters are now in charge of the oil-rich city of Ras Lanuf. The city fell into the hands of the opposition forces after a heavy fighting, which reportedly left at least eight people dead.
Opposition forces say they have downed two helicopters belonging to the Gaddafi regime near Ras Lanuf and Ben Jawad.
In Benghazi, dozens of people were killed and many more wounded after the government forces used warplanes to bomb a weapons depot near the city.
Protest rallies have spread to the capital Tripoli known as Gaddafi’s stronghold. Clashes erupted in the city after Gaddafi’s loyalists fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.