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Gadhafi Forces Launch Fresh Airstrikes, Fierce Fighting in Brega

2:15 p.m. ET | As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met in Paris with Group of Eight foreign ministers, France and Britain called again for increasing pressure on Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and a no-fly zone over the country. British Prime Minister David Cameron said, “Every day, Gadhafi is brutalizing his own people. Time is of the essence.” Libya’s rebels have asked for a no-fly zones to end the airstrikes that have pummeled their strongholds in recent days. Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have both proposed the possibility in a letter to the European Union.

11:30 a.m. ET | Gadhafi’s forces have launched a separate siege on the town of Zwara, bearing down with tanks and artillery. Zwara, near the border with Tunisia, lies 70 miles from the capital, Tripoli. The latest round of attacks follows the retaking of Zawiya, also near the capital, by Gadhafi’s forces.

9:15 a.m. ET | Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi continued their assault on rebel strongholds in the eastern part of the country, pounding the oil port city of Brega with airstrikes and converging on opposition forces with tanks and warships. Rebels still claim to have control over the port.

Fighting over the past week has centered on oil ports Ras Lanouf and Brega, both sparsely populated areas along the Mediterranean coast. The opposition militia has strong popular support in the east and comprises defecting army units and citizens.

Gadhafi’s forces are also fighting to retake Misrata, the most prominent city in the west that is under rebel control. The third largest city in Libya, Misrata is some 125 miles from Tripoli.

Britain and France have pushed for a no-fly zone over Libya, a move the U.N. Security Council and the United States have been hesitant to back. On Saturday, the 22-nation Arab League asked the U.N. Security Council to back the proposal. France has also diplomatically recognized the opposition council as the government of Libya.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in Paris Monday for a previously scheduled meeting of G8 foreign ministers.

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