July 28, 2011 / 4:33 PM / in 6 years

Libyan rebels say capture western mountain town

NALUT, Libya, July 28 (Reuters) - Libyan rebels said on Thursday they had captured the town of Ghezaia in the western mountains from Muammar Gaddafi’s forces, hours after launching a military offensive.

Reuters could not confirm the report as rebels said the area around Ghezaia could be mined. But looking through binoculars from a rebel-held ridge near Nalut, reporters could see no sign of Gaddafi’s forces in the town.

”Gaddafi’s forces left the areas when the attack started,“ said rebel fighter Ali Shalback. ”They fled towards the Tunisian border and other areas. We don’t know where they are but there are pockets of Gaddafi’s forces in the area.

Another fighter, 20-year-old Mahmoud Salem, said he had been into Ghezaia earlier and Gaddafi’s soldiers had gone. “They fled in about 40 white vehicles when we started to attack with tanks and AK-47s. They ransacked some houses and left behind some missiles, AK-47s and ammunition.” (Reporting by Michael Georgy, Writing by Lin Noueihed, editing by Tim Pearce)

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