Tripoli fighting spills into Tunisia
TUNIS/ZAWIYAH, Libya – Libyan rebels battled for towns on either side of the besieged capital Tripoli, and fighting spilled across the border into Tunisia where Libyan infiltrators clashed with Tunisian troops.
This week’s rebel advances on Tripoli – Muammar Gaddafi’s last major stronghold – have transformed the war by cutting the capital off from its main road link to the outside world and putting unprecedented pressure on Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
Washington says the veteran leader’s days are now numbered, and reports have emerged of more defections from Gaddafi’s ranks.
The six-month-old war came close to the Tunisian frontier after rebels suddenly seized the coastal city of Zawiyah just 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, surrounding the heavily fortified capital and severing its vital supply routes.
In Tunisia, security sources said their forces had intercepted Libyan men in vehicles with weapons and fought them through the night in the desert. They reported several casualties, but did not say whether the fighters were Libyan rebels or pro-Gaddafi soldiers cut off from Tripoli. (Reuters)
In this image from video, rebel fighters wave a rebel flag over a burning green Gaddafi regime flag they had just torn down as they celebrate victory on a street in Zawiya, Libya yesterday after they battled for control of the strategic central square against forces loyal to Gaddafi.