Rebels capture Libyan oil port from Qadhafi forces

Libyan rebels have captured the oil port town of Ras Lanouf from pro-Muammar Qadhafi forces, their first military victory in what could be a long, westward march from the opposition-held east of the country to the capital Tripoli.

Witnesses said on Saturday that Ras Lanouf, about 140 km east of the Qadhafi stronghold of Sirte, fell to rebel hands on Friday night after a fierce battle with pro-regime forces who later fled.

An Associated Press reporter who arrived in Ras Lanouf late Saturday morning saw Libya's red, black and green pre-Qadhafi monarchy flag adopted by the rebels hoisted over the town's oil facilities.

The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared reprisals.

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