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Qaddafi's troops, rebels locked in standoff around Brega: April 5 Mideast update

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Nasser Nasser/AP

(Read caption) Libyan rebels monitor the field during an exchange of fire with pro-Qaddafi forces along the frontline at the outskirts of Brega, Libya, on Monday, April 4. Libyan rebels pushed into the strategic oil town of Brega on Monday but came under fire from Muammar Qaddafi's forces, as a government envoy began a diplomatic push in Europe to discuss an end to the fighting.

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Check back weekday mornings for a quick tally of the latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Libya

Pro-government and rebel forces are still locked in a standoff around Brega, where both sides have been engaged in fighting since the middle of last week. Rebels took part of the city Wednesday, but have been the target of heavy fire from Col. Muammar Qaddafi's troops since then.

The rebel troops hope to retake Brega in order to be in control of the city's oil resources, which would provide a much-needed financial boost that could translate to more weapons, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Colonel Qaddafi's son, Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, told the BBC that Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa had not actually defected from Libya. He said that Mr. Koussa was in Britain for health reasons and had been pressured into denouncing the Libyan government in order to secure immunity.

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