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Libya rebels prepare for push on Tripoli: reports

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Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

(Read caption) Libyan rebel military spokesman Ahmed Bani discusses plans to advance on Tripoli on Saturday.

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Leaders of Libya’s rebel forces say they are ready to launch an offensive toward Tripoli, the capital city controlled by embattled leader Muammar Qaddafi, from an enclave southwest of the capital.

The announcement came after NATO intensified airstrikes in the west of the country and as the African Union (AU) put forward a plan for peace negotiations and urged its member states not to honor an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant for Colonel Qaddafi.

Rebel spokesman Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani told reporters in Benghazi, the rebel capital in the east, late on Saturday that rebel fighters will advance from their stronghold in the Nafusa mountains within two days, reports the AFP international news service. They will try to recapture territory on the plains, on the road to Tripoli, which could put them within striking distance of the capital.

Last week, rebel forces retreated from Bir al Ghanam, just 50 miles from the capital, after being attacked by Libyan forces.

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