Libya rebels take casualties in fight for Brega

AJDABIYAH, Libya,  (Reuters) – Rebels on the eastern  front of Libya’s civil war lost 11 men in the past 24 hours  fighting to capture the strategic oil terminal and refinery at  Brega on the Mediterranean coast, hospital sources said.

Sources at a hospital in Ajdabiyah to the northeast said  about 50 were wounded on Thursday and yesterday and one civilian in  the almost deserted town was killed when a rocket fired by  Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces hit a house.

The rebels have taken the residential zone of New Brega. But  that is 15 km (10 miles) from the terminal and port area.

They hope that capturing the port 750 km east of the capital  Tripoli will be a tipping point in their nearly six-month  campaign to oust Gaddafi. They want to begin exporting oil from  Brega as quickly as possible.

But the battle for it has been going on for months.

“There’s close fighting in the oil terminal area this  morning but maybe we can finish it off today,” rebel soldier  Mohammad Muftah said.

Troops loyal to Gaddafi were holding onto the oil  facilities, firing rockets at rebel positions.

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