Troops Muammar GaddafiMuammar Gaddafi on Tuesday were gaining ground in Libya and moved toward the east, one month after the start of a rebellion that became civil war. The rebels have only “two choices: either surrender or flee,” said Colonel Qaddafi said in an interview with Italian newspaper Il Giornale in which refuses any negotiations with “terrorists” but promised not to kill those who would surrender ..
Government forces launched heavy air and artillery against Ajdabiya, strategic communications center 160 km south of the stronghold of the opposition in Benghazi, cutting the road between the two cities.
Libyan state television as “the city of Ajdabiya is fully controlled (by the forces loyal to Gaddafi) and is being purged from the armed gangs.” Hundreds of civilians and rebels fled towards the city of Benghazi on board cars and trucks, according to an AFP reporter.
“There were many bombs, at least five,” Said, 42, who fled clutching “as many things as possible. If we had stayed we would be dead,” he said. “Soon Ajdabiya is safe and quiet as before,” could be read from a text message sent by the Libyan authorities to cell phones.
The fighting left at least three dead and 15 wounded, medics, and two died during the night. Residents said sporadic fighting continued Brega oil site 80 km to the west, but the front line itself is at the gates of Ajdabiya.
The clock is ticking for the rebels. The Libyan army announced Sunday that he was heading to “purge” the country. In the east, until now controlled by the opposition, cities fall one after another, thanks to the power of aerial bombardment and artillery Gaddafi loyalists.
Libyan state television broadcast a statement on Tuesday that the armed forces loyal to Qadhafi announced an “imminent operation” against Benghazi, a stronghold of the rebels.
In the west, the rebels still controlled Misrata, third largest city 150 km east of Tripoli. Gaddafi’s forces regained control instead Zuara center, 120 km west of the capital, after fighting against rebels that left at least one death. Since 15 February, the bloody suppression of the uprising left hundreds dead and drove more than 250,000 people to flee the country.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) urged the combatants to allow civilians to flee, noting the low number of women and children who come to the borders with Egypt and Tunisia. Libyan officials told reporters that “illegal entry” in Libya will not be responsible for their safety. Agencies