21 Mar '11, 9am

Gaddafi forces pull back after air strikes

Gaddafi forces pull back after air strikes

People celebrate atop a destroyed tank belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah. -- PHOTO: REUTERS OUTSIDE AJDABIYA - LIBYAN government forces had pulled back 100km from the rebel-held city of Benghazi on Monday after Western-led air strikes destroyed much of their armour. The forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi retreated to the key town of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, leaving dozens of wrecked tanks along the road, an AFP reporter saw. Sporadic shelling from the government troops targeted rebels who had followed up the withdrawal and were massed in their hundreds some three to four kilometres outside Ajdabiya. A thick plume of smoke was seen rising from inside the town, which straddles the road east to Tobruk and the Egyptian border as well as north to Benghazi...

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