Libya government hopes to regain Zawiyah, possibly Friday

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 18, 2011 4:04 PM
Libya government hopes to regain Zawiyah, possibly Friday

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya hopes to regain control of the rebel-held town of Zawiyah "possibly tonight," Libyan government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said on Friday.

"We believe Zawiyah will be under full government control possibly tonight," he said. Asked about Libyan TV reports that Zawiyah, some 50 km (30 miles) from the capital Tripoli, was in the hands of government forces, he said: "Not totally, but almost."

"They (rebels) have attacked the oil refinery. Government forces pushed them back and gained back some weapons," he said, adding negotiations were underway with Zawiyah rebel commanders to lay down their weapons and surrender.

(Reporting by Maria Golovnina; writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; editing by Philippa Fletcher)