Tripoli, March 5 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A military offensive on Libya’s Az Zawiyah city, near the country’s capital, has witnessed the army managing to break through the opposition defences and enter the city by Saturday morning.Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi launched the military attack on the city of Az Zawiyah Friday night using artillery and tanks, Al Jazeera reported on its website Saturday.
The government lost control of Az Zawiyah, some 60 km (37 miles) to the west of Tripoli, in late February and the city was viewed as a platform for an attack on the country’s capital to oust Gaddafi.
Al Jazeera reports, citing eyewitnesses, said at least 30 people were killed, but the number was climbing steeply as both sides continued fighting for the city.
According to Al Arabiya television, as of now over 15 armoured vehicles and one tank have entered the city with a population of some 300,000 people.
Inspired by the recent ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of Gaddafi are demanding an end to his 42-year rule. Over 2,000 people have been killed in clashes that began in the North African country Feb 14.