Forces loyal to colonel Muammar Gaddafi have retaken the oil city of Ras Lanauf on Thursday after bombardments fro the air and a heavy barrage of artillery from land and sea. Hundreds of rebels in cars and trucks mounted with machine guns sped eastward on the Mediterranean coastal road in a seemingly disorganized flight from Ras Lanouf as an overwhelming force of rockets and shells pounded a hospital, mosque and other buildings in the oil complex. Doctors and staff at the hospital were hastily evacuated along with wounded from fighting from the past week. Al-Jazeera Engslish again has a video of the attack of the Gaddafi forces.
The counter attack came as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam told rebels on Thursday they faced a full-scale assault to crush their three-week-old uprising as troops, tanks and warplanes punched into the rebel-held east of the country.
|Seif al-Islam Gaddafi|
While Seif al-Islam spoke, Gaddafi's forces not only intensified their counter-attack on the oil port of Ras Lanuf.Warplanes also hit Brega, another center of the oil industry further east which is in rebel hands. Gaddafi forces and rebels also fought in the streets of the western town of Zawiyah, close to Tripoli, which has changed hands several times in recent days. Residents described scenes of carnage, with women and children among the dead.
|The rebel flag (Libya's flag from before Gaddafi's revolution)|