Libyan rebels say Gaddafi troops ready to attack eastern cities

Arab World Materials 27 April 2011 15:12 (UTC +04:00)

Libyan government troops were preparing Wednesday to launch a new attack on the country's eastern cities, rebel fighters said, DPA reported.

Some 2,000-3,000 soldiers loyal to leader Moamer Gaddafi have been deployed in the key oil town of Brega and are ready to launch an offensive, according to Brneiq newspaper, which is based in the rebel-stronghold Benghazi.

Government troops had missiles and other heavy weapons hidden in tunnels to protect them from possible airstrikes by NATO, rebel sources said.

Gaddafi's troops have been shelling rebels inside several western cities, as NATO continues its strikes aimed at protecting civilians.

NATO says it has made progress since taking over military operations and is now considering building up its political ties with Libya's rebel forces. The plan would involve setting up a civilian contact point in Benghazi.