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 Al Jazeera English  
 News Report
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Al Jazeera English newscast 03-06-11

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Libya Live Blog - March 6:

Muammar Gaddafi's forces continued launching counterattacks on anti-government rebels along the central Libyan coast, with air raids and ground battles reported in Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf, Az-Zawiyah and Misurata.

Bin Jawad was reclaimed by Gaddafi forces on Sunday, but opposition rebels contuinue advancing on the area, amid conflicting claims from the opposing sides about the capture and recapture of strategic cities and towns.

Gaddafi is facing an uprising since February 17 that has posed the biggest challenge ever to his more than four-decade rule.

Sources report deadly clashes took place in the area, that lies in the middle of the embattled coastline between the opposition stronghold of Benghazi, and the government-held capital Tripoli.

Injured opposition fighters had been taken to the local hospital in nearby Ras Lanuf, a rebel-held town.

Rebels in Misurata also beat back Gaddafi's forces in heavy fighting that left 18 people killed, a local doctor told the Reuters news agency.

Sunday's fighting came amid reports of shooting in Tripoli, which has so far been relatively free of violence.

It was unclear who was carrying out the shooting in Tripoli, which started early on Sunday, or what caused it, Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught reported from the city.

Automatic weapon rounds, some of it heavy calibre, echoed around central Tripoli along with pro-government chants, whistling and a cacophony of car horns as vehicles sped through the vicinity, witnesses said.

However, a government spokesman denied any fighting was under way in Tripoli. "I assure you, I assure you, I assure you, I assure you, there is no fighting going on in Tripoli," Mussa Ibrahim told the Reuters news agency.

Our correspondent, reporting from Green Square in Tripoli, said that thousands of people had turned out to show their support for Gaddafi.

“The square is absolutely packed with supporters of Gaddafi," she said, adding that some of these "supporters" had admitted to a British journalist on Sunday that they were army and police personnel in civilian clothes.

Ibrahim, the Libyan government spokesman said: "Everything is safe. Tripoli is 100 per cent under control. What you are hearing is celebratory fireworks. People are in the streets, dancing in the square."

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00:16:55 English 2011-03-06
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