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A Libyan rebel fighter uses his legs to steady his weapon as he fires at a fighter jet during clashes with pro-Gadhafi forces outside the oil town of Ras Lanuf. (AFP/Getty Images)

Libyan Rebels Trade Attacks With Pro-Gadhafi Force

Mar 9, 2011

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Reported by

Bill Chappell

In Libya, Moammar Gadhafi's military traded attacks with anti-government forces, as the two sides used artillery and rockets to try to gain territory. The rebels remain entrenched in the country's east, with Gadhafi seeking to extend his control farther out from Tripoli.

Here are some updates from Wednesday:

  • A general and other pro-Gadhafi officers were killed in fighting at Zawiya, according to Al-Jazeera.
  • In the same area, government artillery and airstrikes hit an oil pipeline and an oil storage depot, says the AP.
  • President Obama met with Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and top advisers to discuss military roles the United States might play, such as enforcing a no-fly zone.
  • Italy's leadership says it will now support international intervention in its former colony, if the United Nations, the European Union or NATO decide on a plan, according to Sylvia Poggioli.
  • Gadhafi speaks about a no-fly zone on Turkish state TV: "If they take such a decision it will be useful for Libya, because the Libyan people will see the truth, that what they want is to take control of Libya and to steal their oil."
  • Libyan opposition spokesman Mahmoud Jebril supports a 'no fly zone' policy, but stresses that outside help cannot mean troops on the ground, says the AP. He spoke at a news conference in France.

And finally, CNN's Nic Robertson reports that Gadhafi's government has offered a reward for the capture of a person it calls "an agent spy" — Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the nation's former justice minister.

Abdul-Jalil became the leader of the opposition's National Transitional Council after leaving Gadhafi's regime in protest weeks ago. On state TV, the Libyan General Administration for Criminal Investigation said it is offering more than $400,000 for Abdul-Jalil's capture.

Also today, Jackie Northam reported on the possibility that Libya's tribal system, long manipulated and suppressed by Gadhafi, may be reasserting itself.

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