Send in the cavalry: Rebels in eastern Libya ready to march on Tripoli

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Gatrani said a small force comprising army defectors and rebels has already reached the outskirts of the capital, where an attempt to oust Gaddafi on Friday was crushed by pro-regime paramilitaries and soldiers firing indiscriminately at protesters on the streets.

“We are trying to organize people who will sacrifice their lives to free Tripoli from the dictator,” said Gatrani, who heads the military committee now in charge of the army in Benghazi, 600 miles east of the capital and the first major city to fall under opposition control. But, he cautioned: “Entering Tripoli is not easy. Anyone trying will be shot.”…

There is, however, no indication that any rebel groups have reached Tripoli or participated in the fighting in areas where protesters are confronting heavily armed Gaddafi loyalists with sticks and stones. Video footage was broadcast by al-Jazeera of what were purported to be fresh clashes on Saturday in Zawiya, a town 20 miles west of Tripoli that had supposedly fallen to the opposition several days ago, showing residents holding sticks marching in the streets and then running from volleys of gunfire.