In Libya, Both Sides Gird for Long War as Civilian Toll Mounts

Monday, March 7, 2011
By Paul Martin

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and KAREEM FAHIM
NYTimes.com

TRIPOLI, Libya Each side of the conflict in Libya pushed forward on Saturday as militia forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi launched a second day of attacks on the rebel-held city of Zawiyah, just 30 miles west of the capital, and a ragtag rebel army moving from the east won its first ground battle to take the oil port of Ras Lanuf, about midway down the Mediterranean coast.
Both sides were girding for a confrontation in the coming days at the port of Surt, the town where Colonel Qaddafi was born and which blocks the rebels’ progress toward the capital, Tripoli, where extremely heavy gunfire could be heard in the center of the city before dawn Sunday.

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