(AFP) – Jul 11, 2011
BENGHAZI, Libya — Four rebels were killed and 22 wounded in overnight clashes against forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi in the western town of Zliten, rebels said on Monday.
Rebels were aiming to advance on the centre of Zliten, 60 kilometres (35 miles) from their western coastal enclave of Misrata, Libya's third city, they said in a statement.
The clashes flared in Souk al-Thulatha district near central Zliten, a strategic gateway town for the rebels seeking to march on to the capital Tripoli, 200 kilometres (125 miles) further east.
"Four of our fighters were martyred and another 22 were gravely injured in clashes with loyalist forces," the statement said. Kadhafi's forces had used "heavy weapons and cluster bombs banned by international conventions."
In western Libya, rebels are fighting Kadhafi's forces on two fluid front lines: in and around the Mediterranean coastal town of Zliten and in hamlets of the Nafusa mountain range, west of the capital.
NATO in its latest operational update said its warplanes on Sunday hit three multiple rocket launchers in the Zliten area and another three in Misrata, where it also struck eight artillery pieces, eight military vehicles and a tank.
The western alliance said it conducted 54 strikes on July 10.
It hit, among other targets, a military storage facility in Kadhafi's Al-Azaziyah complex in Tripoli, and three armed vehicles in Brega, a loyalist pocket in the rebel-controlled east of Libya, according to NATO.
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