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Updated: August 17, 2011 16:46 IST

Rebels battle Libyan forces for key refinery

AP
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File photo of the oil refinery in Zawiya, west of Libyan capital Tripoli. Rebels and Muammar Qadhafi’s forces are locked in a fight to control the country's only functioning refinery, which supplies oil and gas to Tripoli.
AP File photo of the oil refinery in Zawiya, west of Libyan capital Tripoli. Rebels and Muammar Qadhafi’s forces are locked in a fight to control the country's only functioning refinery, which supplies oil and gas to Tripoli.

Rebels and Muammar Qadhafi’s forces are fighting for control of the only functioning oil refinery in Libya in the western city of Zawiya.

The refinery supplies oil and gas to the capital Tripoli, Col. Qadhafi’s stronghold and home to a third of Libya’s 6 million people.

Rebel fighter Ramadan Keshada said on Wednesday that his forces control parts of the refinery complex in the city’s north on the Mediterranean coast, while some Col. Qadhafi forces and civilian workers remain inside.

He says rebels and regime forces clashed there on Tuesday, then the opposition fighters pulled out at nightfall and made a new push in the daylight.

An Associated Press reporter in Zawiya saw three pickup tricks loaded with fighters speeding toward the refinery.

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