20 Aug 2011

Rebels battle for Libyan cities

1:45 pm on 20 August 2011

Rebels in Libya fighting to overthrow Colonel Muammar Gaddafi have fought fierce battles in two coastal cities as they close in on the capital, Tripoli.

In Zlitan, to the east of the capital, the rebels suffered dozens of casualties as they pushed back Colonel Gaddafi's troops.

In Zawiya, to the west, hundreds of rebel forces recaptured the main square after a day of intense clashes.

The BBC reports that the fighting has stranded thousands of migrant workers, many of them Egyptians, in Tripoli.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said it was planning to evacuate them in the coming days.