Gaddafi renews attack on rebels
Libyan warplanes struck at rebel forces behind the war's eastern frontlines yesterday, stepping up the government offensive to roll back their early gains in the insurrection against Gaddafi.
Reuters correspondents reported at least four air strikes near rebel positions in and around the oil town of Ras Lanuf on the Mediterranean coast. One hit a civilian home.
In the west, government artillery and tanks pounded Zawiyah, the closest rebel-held city to the capital Tripoli, destroying many houses and trapping residents.
Earlier, the rebels said they had rejected an offer from the Libyan leader to negotiate his surrender of power. But the government denied any such talks had taken place and appeared to be making a robust military effort to crush the uprising.
Meanwhile, Western powers are stepping up their efforts to put in place a no-fly zone over Libya.
Britain and France are drafting a UN resolution, which will be debated by Nato defence ministers tomorrow, reports BBC.
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, which represents Muslim countries, has joined the calls for a no-fly zone. Earlier, Gulf Arab states gave their backing to the idea, calling for an urgent meeting of the Arab League.
They have condemned the use of violence against civilians by Libyan government forces.
Yesterday's airstrikes hit at rebels behind the no-man's land between the coastal towns of Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad, about 550 km east of Tripoli and the site of oil terminals, reports Reuters.
One strike smashed a house in a residential area of Ras Lanuf, gouging a big hole in the ground floor. Many homes, including the one hit, appeared to be evacuated and there were no immediate reports of casualties.