Libyan security forces launched an attack on the rebel-held city of Zawiya west of Tripoli on Thursday. A rebel commander and about 30 others were reported killed in the fighting, which continued into Friday. –JCL

Los Angeles Times:

The initiative to retake Zawiya, the city 25 miles west of Tripoli that was seized by rebels four days ago, reportedly claimed the life of a leading rebel commander as forces under the command of one of Kadafi’s sons, Khamis Moammar Kadafi, unleashed mortars and machine-gun fire.

“We have counted 30 dead civilians. The hospital was full. They could not find space for the casualties,” Zawiya resident Mohamed told Reuters by telephone.

A witness living in central Zawiya told The Times that the fighting between rebels and the government began Thursday night and continued throughout the day Friday. “I can’t leave the house,” the man said by telephone.

A Kadafi spokesman vowed to retake the city “tonight,” but witnesses said rebels retained control of the four gates of the city.

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