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Rebels smuggle weapons from Tunisia into Libya, as Gaddafi vows to fight to death

Tunisia is said to be sympathetic with the Libyan rebel cause – despite Gaddafi’s definant speech over the weekend – and is helping to covertly pass guns and grenades across the border.

Rebel fighters run during heavy fighting with pro-Gadhafi forces on the frontline of Dafniya 40 km west Misrata, Libya, Sunday, June 12, 2011.
Rebel fighters run during heavy fighting with pro-Gadhafi forces on the frontline of Dafniya 40 km west Misrata, Libya, Sunday, June 12, 2011.
Image: Hassan Ammar/AP/Press Association Images

LIBYAN REBEL FIGHTERS have been smuggling weapons through neighbouring Tunisia, according to reports.

Tunisia is said to be sympathetic to the rebels’ cause but cautious about showing overt support, reports the BBC. A smuggler told the BBC that AK47s and grenade launchers were being brought over the border in small but frequent batches.

Meanwhile, the Libyan government has said it has today pushed back rebel fighters attempting to capture the strategic oil city of Zawiya, the New York Times reports. The oil refinery at Zawiya is one of the only remaining sources of fuel for Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists; the city also controls the coastal road, which is used to carry necessities from Tunisia to Tripoli.

Last week, NATO launched the heaviest airstrike yet as part of the campaign, however Gaddafi soon put on a show of confidence – declaring on Sunday: “We will not surrender: we only have one choice to the end. Death, victory, it does not matter, we are not surrendering,” the Guardian reports.

Read more: End Game – talks begin on how to run Libya after Gaddafi >

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