Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have carried out air strikes on the outskirts of a rebel-held eastern town, continuing a counter-offensive against anti-government protesters trying to topple the government.


VOA News March 07, 2011

Witnesses say Libyan warplanes struck positions around the oil port of Ras Lanuf on Monday. There were no reports of casualties. Earlier, residents were seen leaving the town, fearing an attack by pro-Gadhafi forces after deadly assaults Sunday on other rebel-held cities.

News agencies said people also were clearing out of the coastal city of Bin Jawwad, to the west of Ras Lanuf. Government loyalists have been using tanks, jets, helicopter gunships and artillery to try to stop the rebels’ westward advance toward the Libyan capital, Tripoli – the main stronghold of Gadhafi.

The United Nations issued an international appeal Monday for humanitarian aid for up to one million people who have fled Libya or remain stranded in the country since the anti-Gadhafi uprising began last month.

U.N. aid coordinator Valerie Amos said in Geneva that humanitarian organizations need urgent access to Libya “now” to help people who are injured and dying.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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