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Ras Lanuf rebels prepare for offensive

Sunday, March 06, 2011 - 02:06

Mar 7 - Rebels prepare to defend key oil town of Ras Lanuf in Libya, as the EU becomes increasingly concerned about its citizens still in the country. Jessica Gray reports.

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Libyan rebels prepare to defend the oil port city Ras Lanuf. The men set up check points and gather weapons after losing the nearby city of Bin Jawad to government forces after fierce clashes on Sunday. Ras Lanuf is 400 km east of the capital Tripoli and boasts an oil refinery, terminal and several pipelines. The rebels say they refuse to surrender until they have won their freedom. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOHAMMAD KHODAYNI, REBEL, SAYING: "We have one main demand. Our freedom and the departure of this tyrant. Although we wish to catch him alive in order to show the world justice of the rebels of Libya and present him for a trial." Witnesses claim a warplane launched an air strike on the eastern outskirts of Ras Lanuf early on Monday. The likelihood of more violence worries members of the European Union. SOUNDBITE (English) EU ENVOY LEADING THE FACT FINDING MISSION, AUGUSTIO MIOZZO "As you know the European Union doesn't have a mission in Libya, so we were in need to have a vision, a direct vision and to know directly the situation, mainly the situation of the European citizens, the situation of our missions - the European ambassadors still present in the country - to understand if any problem for the European citizens to move and to leaving the country." The UN and EU are dispatching fact-finding missions to the North African nation to investigate possible war crimes committed by pro-government forces. Hundreds of thousands have fled the country since violence erupted in February. Jessica Gray, Reuters

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Ras Lanuf rebels prepare for offensive

Sunday, March 06, 2011 - 02:06