Middle East

Libya voices: 'We are gaining ground'

Libyan rebels gather for tea near petroleum facilities on March 7, 2011 in Ras Lanuf, Libya
Image caption Government forces are moving towards Ras Lanuf, according to BBC correspondents

As unrest continues in Libya, opposition-held territory has again come under sustained attack, according to reports.

Libyan government forces are advancing towards the oil port of Ras Lanuf, checking the rebels' westward progress, BBC correspondents say.

Here, one anti-government protester in the rebel-held town of Misrata and one Gaddafi supporter in the regime stronghold of Tripoli give the latest accounts of the situation on the ground.

Mohamed, Misrata

Misrata is very tense. We buried 21 young men today - the casualties of yesterday's battle.

We hear that Gaddafi's forces are gathering to the west of the city so it's quiet here but tense. Very tense.

Misrata is free of Gaddafi's forces - totally free. I'm confident that we'll do all we can to drive off and to fight the dictator's forces.

There was a huge funeral for the martyrs today and people were chanting anti-dictator slogans. It was very tense and emotional. The young people of the city are cleaning up the mess left by yesterday's battle. But there are rumours - and at this stage they remain rumours - that the dictator's forces are back for some more.

However, this has not materialised so far.

We wait, our military guys are organising their ranks again. There is no lull, we cannot take anything for granted and we cannot let our guard down, we are patching our wounds and are ready to defend our city. We wait for our friends from the east so that we can push forward to Tripoli.

There is new territory gained - little villages and little towns having uprisings and shaking off the control of the dictator. We hear good news every day.

Now we hold an absolute territorial advantage and an absolute population advantage to the dictator. I would now say that 65-70% of Libya is out of control of the dictator. He's only got Tripoli, Sirte and Sabha and he's ruling from fear there.

Tripoli is being suffocated by the dictator. It is simmering underneath and hopefully it will blow up soon. We are gaining ground in all directions.

Salah, Tripoli

So far so good in Tripoli. People are starting to get the feeling of security back after the army and police were distributed all over the streets.

It feels secure and safe here. Roads are being patrolled by the government army officers and their volunteers. There are check points on the streets, as normal.

This city is definitely under the control of the regime but it's difficult to gauge what's happening in other cities.

It's hard to know which cities are under the control of the regime or the opposition. News agencies on the ground are the ones who know what is happening, but it is very confusing, some say the supporters of Gaddafi are in control of cities outside the capital while other reporters suggest the opposition are.

I do not know about this but as I live in the heart of Tripoli I can confirm what the situation is here.

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