As Washington urged African countries to reject the government of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, rebels reported progress Monday against government forces in western mountain cities.
After a siege of nearly two months, rebels have freed the city of Al-Rayyana, northeast of Zintan, said Talha Al-Jiwali, a rebel fighter. Nine rebels were killed, and 35 were wounded, he said.
Al-Jiwali said forces entering Al-Rayyana found that more than 20 residents had been killed, a number of the women had been raped, and the town’s electricity and water had been cut.
In nearby Zawiet al-Baqool, just east of Zintan, 500 to 600 government forces retained control, but the fighting was ongoing, he said.