March 30, 2011
Loyalist forces overran the Libyan oil town of Ras Lanuf on Wednesday, scattering outgunned rebels as world powers debated arming the rag-tag band of fighters seeking to oust Moamer Kadhafi.
AFP reporters quoting rebel fighters said Kadhafi’s troops swept through Ras Lanuf, strategic for its oil refinery, blazing away with tanks and heavy artillery fire soon after dawn.
Panicked rebels fled in their hundreds through Uqayla, 20 kilometres (12 miles) east of Ras Lanuf, calling for coalition air strikes on Kadhafi’s forces.
“We want the French to bomb the (Kadhafi) soldiers,” said fighter Ali Atia al-Faturi, as the sound of shelling and gunfire grew louder. Hundreds of cars and pickup trucks sped from Uqayla towards Brega, the next main town, some 240 kilometres (150 miles) south of the rebel stronghold Benghazi.
This article was posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 4:38 am