Libya rebel army says training before Tripoli push

Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:20pm GMT

* Rebel army giving training in assault, defence

* Army generals say siding with a revolutionary council

* Rebels say each family armed and ready

By Tom Pfeiffer and Mohammed Abbas

BENGHAZI, Libya, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Libya's eastern rebel army is urging young men eager to dash west and engage Muammar Gaddafi's forces to wait so they can turn them into an effective fighting force.

Hundreds from the eastern city of Benghazi are setting off each day across the desert to Libya's capital, some carrying knives and assault rifles, residents told Reuters.

But rebel officers say many more stayed behind to gather at makeshift training camps in schools and burnt-out barracks.

"We can give them what they need: training in assault, in defending a position. They should know that we are here to protect the youth revolution," said Marai Lojeli, a colonel in his 50s.   Continued...

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