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Libyan military attacks anti- government forces near Tripoli


Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi launched a military attack on the city of Az Zawiyah near the country's capital using artillery and tanks, Al Jazeera reported on its website on 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.

The military offensive on Az Zawiyah began on Friday night and by Saturday morning, Gaddafi's army managed to break through the opposition defenses and enter the city.

Al Jazeera reports, citing eyewitnesses, reported that at least 30 people were killed, but the number climbs steeply as both sides continue fighting for the city.

Al Arabiya television reports that as of now over 15 armored vehicles and one tank 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. More than 2,000 people have been killed in clashes that began in the North African country on February 15. (PNA/RIA Novosti)

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