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William Hague

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  • Gaddafi Launches Counter-Offensive On Libyan Rebels

    Gaddafi Launches Counter-Offensive On Libyan Rebels
    Troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi launched counter-offensives against rebel-held towns on Sunday, increasing fears that Libya is heading for a civil war rather than the swift revolutions seen in Tunisia and Egypt. The Gaddafi government proclaimed sweeping overnight victories over what it called terrorist bands. But after what residents said was a day of fierce fighting with artillery, rockets and mortar bombs, rebel forces announced they had fought off Gaddafi's forces in the towns of Zawiyah, to the immediate west of Tripoli, and Misrata to the east. "Today Misrata witnessed the toughest battle since the beginning of the revolution. Horrible attacks," one resident, who did not want to give his name, told Reuters by phone. "They came from three sides and managed to enter the town from the west and south but when they reached the center of Misrata the rebels pushed them back," he said. Misrata, with a population of 300,000, is the largest town controlled by rebels outside the rebel-held east of the country. If rebel soldiers were able to continue their fitful advance westwards, Misrata could be a stepping stone to reaching the capital, Gaddafi's principal stronghold. Rebel council spokesman Hafiz Ghoga told a Benghazi news conference: "We would like to put the people of this great nation at ease...because the regime is spreading rumors. "Both Zawiyah and Misrata are secured, liberated cities." Gaddafi's troops, backed by tanks, artillery, warplanes and helicopters attacked positions near the oil port of Ras Lanuf, 660 km (410 miles) east of the capital. Rebels were forced to retreat from Bin Jawad which is on the road to Sirte, the hometown of Gaddafi who has ruled the OPEC oil and gas producer for 41 years. "Gaddafi's cut us to pieces. He's firing on us with tanks and missiles. I don't know what we're going to do now," Momen Mohammed told Reuters. One fighter returning wounded to Ras Lanuf from Bin Jawad was asked what he had seen. "Death," he replied, too distraught to say any more. Rebels said they planned another attack on Bin Jawad, which is only 160 km (100 miles) from Sirte, on Monday morning.
  • Doyle McManus: The West is still waiting for its Libya gamble to pay off

    Hope isn't a strategy. But it was a major part of NATO's decision to launch an air war against Libya's Moammar Kadafi almost three months ago. Back in March, when the bombing began, the leaders of France, Britain and the United States hoped Kadafi's...

    Rockets Pound Israel, Gaza as Netanyahu alleges 'Double War Crime'

    Gaza City -- Rockets and shells crisscrossed the skies over southern Israel and Gaza on Thursday as Palestinian militants continued rocket attacks on Israeli civilians and Israel pounded what it called terror sites. Israel reported three people killed....

    Bombs in Palestine, then and now

    Bombs falling on Arab neighborhoods ... Homes demolished ... Civilians killed or wounded ... Soldiers shooting at anything that moves. That may sound like a description of the past week's violence between Israel and Palestinians in Gaza. But in fact, it...

    EGYPT: European leaders urge democratic reforms

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several other European leaders have urged the Egyptian government to enact democratic reforms and stop further violence against protesters. Merkel told Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in a Sunday phone call that she...