Libyan rebels now just 50 miles outside Tripoli (again)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters had been camped since late June on the outskirts of Bir al-Ghanam, unable to advance. According to rebels in the town on Monday, they moved in on Saturday under cover from NATO warplanes.

They said their next target was Zawiyah, a town on the Mediterranean coast 50 km west of Tripoli.

Zawiyah was the scene of two failed uprisings against Gaddafi’s rule since February. Many of the fighters in Bir al-Ghanam are from there, although a number of those who took part in the uprisings are now in prison or dead.

“Our aim is to get to Zawiyah. Once we do that Gaddafi is finished,” said rebel fighter Murad Bada, who was sitting under the shade of a tree and humming a song about Zawiyah.