Thursday, March 3, 2011

Libyan Battle Map

(CNN) -- Here's the latest on where things stand in various Libyan cities, based on CNN reporting, witnesses and government claims:

Sunday March 6, 2011

Long a stronghold of the opposition, Benghazi appears to remain under opposition control. The National Transitional Council, a group with 31 opposition representatives for most of the regions in Libya, met in the eastern port city Saturday.
On Sunday, a group of British special forces who were briefly detained in Benghazi were let go and they returned to Europe, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement. They had been sent there to "initiate contacts with the opposition."

There was fighting Sunday for control of Bin Jawad. Medical sources told CNN that at least five people had been killed in the city. CNN could hear steady booms in the area Sunday evening. It was unclear whether the sounds came from aerial bombardment or heavy artillery.

A witness says the opposition managed to repel government forces Sunday after they converged on a courthouse the opposition was using as a base of operations in the city. The witness described jubilation afterward as people celebrated success over the heavily armed forces. The witness spoke to CNN even as pro-Gadhafi demonstrators in Tripoli declared that the government had taken back Misrata.A doctor at Central Misrata Hospital said 42 people were killed -- 17 from the opposition and 25 from pro-Gadhafi forces -- and 85 were wounded, most of them in civilian clothing, in the fighting Sunday. The youngest victim, 3 years old, was killed by direct fire, the doctor said. U.N. emergency relief coordinator Valerie Amos, in a statement, urged Libyan authorities to "provide access without delay to aid workers to save lives," describing conditions there as dire.

A government official proclaimed Sunday that the government has taken back Ras Lanuf. But CNN's Ben Wedeman, who was in the Ras Lanuf area, reported that that claim is "patently false." The city appeared to be under the control of rebels, according to the CNN crew there. And on Saturday, the opposition announced that it had prevented the government from capturing Ras Lanuf.

Libyan state TV claimed that the government had gained control of the eastern port city. "Morning victory, oh people of Libya. Victory city of Tobruk from terrorist gangs," the station said. However, witnesses there said the city remained under opposition control.

Another large pro-Gadhafi demonstration was held Sunday in the Libyan capital. A witness said police were searching cars to try to prevent anti-Gadhafi protesters from coming out on the streets.

A Libyan government official proclaimed Sunday that the government has taken back Zawiya. CNN was not allowed into the city to verify that independently. CNN also was unable to call people in Zawiya on Sunday; reports said communications had been cut off. On Saturday, the opposition announced that it had prevented pro-government forces from taking Zawiya.

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