April 29, 2011
Sounds crazy but, “Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and fought a gun battle with Tunisian troops in a frontier town as Libya’s conflict spilt beyond its borders…Pro-Gaddafi forces fired shells into the town of Dehiba, damaging buildings and injuring at least one resident, and a group of them drove into the town in a truck, local people and a Reuters photographer in the town said. The Libyan government troops were pursuing anti-Gaddafi rebels from the restive Western Mountains region of Libya who fled into Tunisia in the past few days after Gaddafi forces overran the border post the rebels had earlier seized.” So is this the carte blanche that Pro Oil liberation forces need in order to justify a land invasion of Libya? And what happens to oil in that case when Gaddafi’s back is truly against the wall?
From the Telegraph:
“There were lots of clashes in the town this morning. Lots of gunshots. The Tunisian military clashed with Gaddafi’s forces … Some of Gaddafi’s people were killed,” said Reuters photographer Zoubeir Souissi from the town.
“There are a lot of Gaddafi’s people who were injured. They are in the hospital in Dehiba,” he said.
Two residents also told Reuters that shells had fallen on the town from pro-Gaddafi positions across the border in Libya.
“Rounds from the bombardment are falling on houses…. A Tunisian woman was injured,” one of the residents, called Ali, told Reuters by telephone.
He said later the fighting and shelling had stopped. “The Tunisian army is combing the town. We have no idea about the fate of Gaddafi’s forces there because the Tunisian army closed the gates to the town and nobody is allowed to enter.”
A Libyan rebel said anti-Gaddafi fighters had retaken control of the border crossing near Dehiba. The main crossing into Libya, two hours’ drive to the north, remains firmly under Libyan government control.
“Right here at this point I’m looking at the new (rebel) flag flying up there at the border. The rebels have got control of it, the freedom fighters. We’re just in the process of opening it up,” rebel Akram el Muradi said by telephone.
Tunisia, which recently lost its own dictator, has decided to issue a statement, sternly warning against further incursions or else:
Tunisia’s government late on Thursday issued a statement condemning incursions by Libyan forces after shells fired by Gaddafi loyalists fell into the desert near the border.
“Given the gravity of what has happened … the Tunisian authorities have informed the Libyans of their extreme indignation and demand measures to put an immediate stop to these violations,” a statement from the foreign ministry said.
Friday’s clashes marked the first time that Libyan government ground forces had crossed the border and entered a Tunisian town.
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