Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Top News

Rebels say they control Libyan oil hub

Saturday, March 05, 2011 - 02:42

Mar 5 - Rebels claim they now control that critical oil port of Ras Lanuf even after pro-Gaddafi forces bomb a major weapons depot near Benghazi. Maryam Ishani reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Amateur video posted on the internet purports to show civilians fleeing gunfire in the Libyan oil port of Ras Lanuf on Friday. One man, dressed in a red, can be seen moving towards the source of the shooting and raising his arms, possibly firing back. Ras Lanuf has seen fierce fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and opposition forces, revolting against his 41-year rule. On Saturday rebels armed with light weapons to defend the front line of Ras Lanuf said they now control the critical oil city that sits on the Mediterranean coast. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOCAL REBEL LEADER, SHEIKH FATHI, SAYING: "We are standing at the checkpoint - the old checkpoint - of the military here in Ras Lanuf. This is the beginning of Ras Lanuf, after 2 kilometres here we have the city, the residence of the employees here in Ras Lanuf and the village. At the beginning there you see from here up to 10 kilometres the port, the oil sea port that is for the exporting of oil, that is the biggest one in Libya." There was no sign of pro-Gaddafi soldiers, although the government denies they have lost control of the city. Doctors said the death toll from fighting around Ras Lanuf had reached 26 and is expected to rise. On the outskirts of nearby rebel-stronghold Benghazi, forces loyal to Gaddafi bombed an arms stockpile on Friday killing at least 16 people. Rebel soldier Mohammed Brik said the area had been attacked from the air. (SOUNDBITE)(Arabic) MOHAMMED BRIK, SOLDIER AND EYEWITNESS, SAYING: "This was an airstrike using heavy weaponry, enough to destroy a whole city, because there is a crater there that you can see. This was an airstrike and I'm sure it was an airstrike because I am one of the soldiers from this camp, I am a soldier here and I understand that this strike was an airstrike. A crater of this size is not one made by a car explosion or something like that." Residents said the explosion shattered windows several kilometres away. With most of eastern Libya now under rebel control, some rebels said advance parties had moved further west but forces were now massing in Ras Lanuf to press ahead together. Maryam Ishani, Reuters.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Rebels say they control Libyan oil hub

Saturday, March 05, 2011 - 02:42