Embattled ruler Muammar Gaddafi’s warplanes have intensified aerial attacks on the revolutionary fighters in Libya’s oil-rich city of Ras Lanuf.
The warplanes launched fresh airstrikes on anti-regime positions around the port city on Monday. Witnesses say at least three people have been killed in the attacks.
The revolutionary fighters say they can take on the government’s elite ground forces, but are outgunned when the regime uses air power.
They have begun pulling back from Ras Lanuf and the nearby city of Ben Jawad after the regime resorted to heavy use of air attacks.
Meanwhile, reports say fighting erupted in the city of Zawiyah as forces loyal to Gaddafi launched a renewed attempt to capture the city.
On Sunday, Gaddafi’s tanks shelled the civilian population in the western city of Misratah. Medics say 21 people, most of them civilians, were killed in the clashes.
The move prompted the United Nations to demand urgent access to the city.
UN Chief Ban Ki-moon has named a former Jordanian minister as the world body’s envoy to Libya.
He has also said Gaddafi has agreed to allow an assessment team into Tripoli.
Meanwhile, the United Nations says over one million people, including the refugees and internally displaced, need humanitarian aid.
The UN aid coordinator, Valerie Amos, says the need for aid is urgent in Misratah where residents have been attacked by government forces over the weekend.
She made the comments during a visit to areas in Tunisia along the Libyan border.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says over 200,000 people have already fled Libya. Agencies