There have been serious clashes around Zawiya in western Libya, with the government denying rebels had captured the key coastal town.
It is 30km (22 miles) to the capital's west on the strategic road to Tunisia.
The rebels hope to capture Zawiya to essentially cut the capital off from the outside world, correspondents say.
A "small group of rebels" had been repelled by government forces as they tried to move into the town, said government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
Around 50 rebels had begun fighting inside the town, but they they were being rounded up, he added.
Last week, hundreds of rebels pushed out of the Nafusa Mountains in the west, down towards the towns of the coastal plain in an offensive aimed at ending months of deadlock.
Military success in the west of the country is crucial to the rebels' chances of defeating Col Muammar Gaddafi's government, which has prevented the rebels advancing from their stronghold around Benghazi in the east.
Reports said some 200 rebels came under heavy shelling as they approached Zawiya on Saturday, with a group advancing as far as the town's main square despite coming under sniper-fire from rooftops.
An AP reporter travelling with the rebels said they were greeted by hundreds of overjoyed residents, and that they replaced the green flag of Col Gaddafi's regime hanging from a mosque minaret with two rebel flags.
The town is key for both the rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces, says the BBC's Matthew Price in Tripoli: the rebels need to take it before they can advance on the capital, and it is crucial to the Libyan regime as it lies on the lifeline to Tunisia.
If the government forces lose control of it, the capital is cut off, adds our correspondent.
Meanwhile, to the east of Tripoli, rebels have taken the town of Tawarga, 50km (35 miles) outside Misrata.
The commander who led the fight, Ibrahim Halbus, said 12 men had been killed freeing Tawarga, which had been used by government forces as the launchpad for long-range rockets targeting Misrata.
"Our martyrs can rest easy in their graves, and the children can sleep easy in their beds," he said.
Rebels now hope to press on to a strategic junction, just outside Tawarga, capturing which would sever the last remaining supply route to the city of Sirt, Col Gadaffi's birthplace.
Hundreds of people have been killed since the uprising against Col Gaddafi's authoritarian rule began in February.
Since March, Nato planes have been enforcing a UN-backed no-fly zone to defend civilians, with near-daily air strikes targeting army units and command-and-control centres.
The documents were found in the Libyan Embassy in Knightsbridge this week after rebels fighting to end Gaddafi's reign formally took possession of the "People's Bureau". They disclose a London dentist's work for the Gaddafi regime, reopening the mystery of the daughter the Libyan leader claims was killed in a US bombing raid.
The Daily Telegraph has seen the papers. They show that in 2008 Libyan officials in London arranged for the dentist, Stephen Hopson, to fly to Tripoli to treat a patient called "Hana Ghadafi".
Hana was the name of the baby daughter that Gaddafi claimed was killed in the US air strike on Tripoli in 1986. The attack is said to have led the dictator to order terrorist reprisals, including the 1988 Lockerbie bombing.
Hana Gaddafi's death has never been verified, and many Libyans believe she actually survived the 1986 attack and still lives in Tripoli.
In 2008, the Libyan ambassador, Omar Jelban, personally arranged a business class flight to Tripoli for Mr Hopson.
The dentist declined yesterday to give details of his patient or discuss his professional dealings with the regime. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part, but the documents will revive speculation about the dictator's daughter.
They show the Libyan embassy arranging for Mr Hopson to visit Tripoli in April 2008. In a fax to Mr Jelban, the dentist said he would be treating a patient he identified as "Miss Hana Ghadafi".
It reads: "This is to confirm that I will be visiting Tripoli to treat Miss Hana Ghadafi this coming weekend. I will need a return plane ticket leaving the morning of Saturday 19th April and returning to London on the afternoon/evening of Sunday 20th April."
There is no agreed way of rendering Arabic names into Roman script, meaning that Western spellings of Libyan names vary.
Also on April 14 2008, the Libyan ambassador instructed a London travel company to arrange flights for Mr Hopson, at the Libyan government's expense.
Mr Jelban wrote a signed letter to Arab Tours asking them to issue the dentist with business-class British Airways tickets for the dates he requested. "Please send your invoice for settlement, with a copy of this letter, to the Libyan People's Bureau in London," he wrote.
Asked about Miss Gaddafi and the Libyan trip, Mr Hopson said he was "neither admitting or denying" anything. He said he could not give any details about his patient.
"There's an element of patient confidentiality and if you were a patient, you wouldn't want me revealing anything about any care that you had received and that's why I can make no comment about any of this" he said.
Asked if his patient was Col Gaddafi's daughter, Mr Hopson said: "It's possible perhaps there could be a second Hana Gaddafi. It's not beyond the realms of possibility."
This week, Die Welt, a German newspaper, reported that Gaddafi's daughter is alive and well and living in Tripoli.
Hana Gaddafi is thought to have been born in November 1985 and adopted by the Libyan leader shortly afterwards. Since her alleged death, a number of reports have suggested that she survived and remains close to Col Gaddafi.
In 1999, the official Chinese state news agency reported the presence of a Hana Gaddafi at a lunch her father held for Nelson Mandela.
This year, the Swiss froze assets linked to the Gaddafi family, including assets held under that name. Miss Gaddafi was reported to have lived in London as a teenager before studying medicine in Tripoli and working for the health ministry.
The embassy's files contain numerous other documents relating to trips arranged to Libya by officials, but few involved Mr Jelban directly.
A Libyan government official on Friday night claimed that Hana is a second adopted daughter taken on by Col Gaddafi after the first one was killed in the 1986 bombing.
"This not an important issue when we have children dead and Nato bombing civilians in our country," a Tripoli official said. "The Daily Telegraph should concentrate on these important issues."
Libyan strongman taps his arsenal as rebels inch closer to Tripoli
By LOLITA C. BALDOR, Associated Press
Libyan government forces tapped into their stores of Scud missiles this weekend, firing one for the first time in this year's conflict with rebels, but hurting no one, U.S. defense officials said Monday.
The missile launch was detected by U.S. forces shortly after midnight Sunday and the Scud landed in the desert about 50 miles outside Brega, said one official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss military operations.
Rebel and regime forces have battled over the strategic port city of Brega throughout the conflict, and control has swung back and forth between the two sides.
The strike comes as rebel forces continue to advance, working in recent days to block key supply routes around Tripoli. The Obama administration said Monday that it is encouraged by recent rebel progress, but stopped short of predicting victory for the opposition forces after months of inconclusive battles.
According to the military, the Scud missile was launched from a location about 50 miles east of Surt, a city on the Mediterranean coast about 230 miles east of Tripoli. Noting that Scuds are not precision guided missiles, officials said they couldn't tell if Brega was the target.
Brega is about 450 miles southeast of Tripoli.
Early in the conflict, NATO and U.S. forces targeted sites around the country where Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi stored surface-to-surface missiles like Scuds, largely because they worried that he would use them to target areas beyond his control.
The military intervention in Libya began March 19, after the U.N. authorized action to protect Libyan civilians from attacks by regime forces. NATO took over the mission in early April, but the U.S. has continued to provide jet fighters and drones, as well as war ships off the coast.
Two senior U.S. officials said it is too soon to tell whether the Scud strike was a singular incident or if it represents a new phase of fighting. Scuds have a range of up to 500 miles.
Mathaba was the first to break the news of the liberation of Misrata from the reliable source of Mathaba Libya Coordinator and this is now confirmed by additional sources
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Lizzie Phelan has given a report that confirms an earlier report that was given by Mathaba Libya Coordinator and also a young member of the Libyan Army: Misrata has been liberated by loyalist volunteers of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and the Libyan Defence Forces.
Ms. Phelan says, in her report, that this has been confirmed also by Dr. Moussa Ibrahim, the honest Jamahiriya media spokesperson.
Earlier reports had been circulated and reached pub.mathaba.net but not passed for publication as unverified claims that "hundreds" of U.S. soldiers had entered Misrata and were reports meant to create confusion.
Reports in NATO media outlets as always claiming that the tebels (terrorist rebels) are about to "liberate" Tripoli when they are in complete disarray, were also designed to create confusion however they have no effect on Libya but are aimed at the foreign supporters of the tebels.
Chinese media too has echoed these reports, we assume because the Chinese media often simply echoes western media in their reports without checking of facts. After China allowed the F-UK-USA alliance to enter African sovereign air space and massacre Libyans, almost 2 million Chinese have been affected adversely.
By Lizzie Phelan
While the journalists suffering from cabin fever in Tripoli’s Rixos hotel, publish their dreams that imperialism’s lackies (the rebels/rats "tebels") have taken Zawiya, Ghuriyan and Sorman, they are ignoring a decisive moment in the crisis.
That is the liberation of the hitherto rebel-held area of Misratah. Last night the Libyan army moved into the centre of the city and now the rebels are trapped between Misratah and Tawergha. 75 per cent of the city has been secured including the port, which was a lifeline for the rebels to receive shipments of arms and other supplies, as well as being a key transport route for them.
This was confirmed today by government spokesman Dr Moussa Ibrahim and at a press conference by tribal leaders of up to 200 Libyan tribes. This includes the leaders of four of the largest Libyan tribes which make up half the Libyan population: Wafalla, Tarhouna, Zlitan, Washafana. They have all given the allegiance of their tribes to the leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The tribal leaders also confirmed that Zawiya, Ghuriyan and Sorman, are secure, in contrast to claims by foreign reporters in Tripoli and Djerba (Tunisia) that they have been taken by the rebels. There are pockets of rebels in these areas, but they are isolated and surrounded by the Libyan army and Libyan tribes. But of course, the claims of some mainstream journalists who have next to no knowledge of Libya will determine the orientalist public opinion of the west. These claims stand in stark contradiction to the reports of the Libyan tribes adhwho of course know their land with great intimacy.
Leaders of Libyan tribes hold a press conference
It is clear that these claims were designed to try and boost the moral of the rebels which just goes from one disaster to another, and also to try and create panic amongst the Libyan population. Also, they have been desperately trying to secure some victory before August 17th (17 day of Ramadan), a very important date in the Islamic calendar. This was the date of Prophet Muhammad’s victory in the Battle of Badr.
However, all the best efforts of the international press to create confusion and panic on the ground and Libya are always swiftly turned around by a speech by Leader Muammar Gaddafi. This was delivered last night by telephone to supporters that had flocked to Green Square. He reasserted his calls for the Libyan people to remain steadfast in defeating NATO’s allies on the ground and NATO itself.
So the media war goes on. And in case anyone is still actually watching Al Jazeera, which has been at the centre of the conspiracy against Libya, here Press TV’s Afshin Rattansi screens footage of an Al Jazeera editorial meeting with the Emir of Qatar and none other than Israel’s Tzipi Livni.
From 9 mins and 11 secs:
Just to clear up some more crap coming out in the international press: The interior minister Nassr al-Mabrouk which the western press is claiming has “defected” is ***live*** right now (3.05 am Libyan Time) on Libya’s most popular talk show saying he left because he had to go for an operation and he is still 100 per cent with Gaddafi.
Finally, we are still waiting for absolute confirmation of reports that rebel commander Khalifa Hefter has been captured by pro-Gaddafi forces. This would obviously plunge the rebels into further disarray following the assassination of other the former top rebel commander Abd al Fatah Younis by Al Qaeda (which runs throughout the rebel ranks). Hefter was living in Virginia for 20 years working as a CIA agent, right up until the crisis began when he swiftly returned to Libya to join the TNC.
Key leaders and supporters of the tebels have now conceded that NATO itself is going to lose this war. Read one such confirmation here.
Mathaba: Note to the gullible western tell-lie-vision watchers. What has been going on since March when NATO started to bomb Libya, is that tebels under massive air support of NATO which carries out massive bombings of towns in order to drive out the citizens and the Libyan defence forces, move in for a few hours along with western journalists and take some photo shots to show they have "liberated" that particular town. Those reports then make it to prime time tell-lie-vision news. But:
What the western "news" media editor's do not allow to be shown to you after that is the proofs that always just hours later, the tebels flee again as the Libyan defence forces and population move back in, their houses having been ransacked by the tebels. If you want to have an idea of the level of support for Qaddafi within Libya, but also to just get a clear picture of what is going on there, and to see what you are never shown on tell-lie-vision, just take a look at www.bit.ly/LibyaTruth
The reason NATO cannot win this war without dropping nukes on the entire population, is because it is the majority of the population that makes up the self-governing direct democracy "Jamahiriya" as well as the defence forces. A cursory look at Libyan history and unity against foreign invaders will show that NATO has no option but to withdraw, or continue massacres that are hour by hour increasing the level of support not only within Libya and Africa, but now worldwide, for the Libyan Jamahiriya and its direct participatory democracy.
A convoy of Libyan rebels has rolled into Tripoli past celebrating crowds after a day of heavy fighting in and around the capital.
They appeared to meet little resistance and civilians emerged to cheer them, waving flags and firing celebratory shots as they passed in their pick-ups.
Correspondents say rebels are just hundreds of metres from the city centre.
Col Muammar Gaddafi has vowed again to defeat them.
The rebels have reportedly captured two of his sons: Saif al-Islam, a well-known figure in the West who heads the Gaddafi International Charity and Development Foundation, and Muhammad, who heads the Libyan Olympic committee.
Col Gaddafi is believed to still have thousands of armed followers in the capital but other reports suggest a number of them have been surrendering to the rebels.
Libyan Information Minister Moussa Ibrahim said fighting in Tripoli since noon (10:00 GMT) on Sunday had left 1,300 people dead and 5,000 wounded, and added that hospitals could not cope with the casualties.
Rebel forces advanced from the east and west in recent days, backed by Nato aircraft enforcing a UN resolution to protect civilians.
The UK Government said on Sunday night: "It is clear from the scenes we are witnessing in Tripoli that the end is near for Gaddafi. He has committed appalling crimes against the people of Libya and he must go now to avoid any further suffering for his own people."
Urging Col Gaddafi to step down, the US state department said: "Clearly the offensive for Tripoli is under way."
'Green Square tonight'
As one force of rebels arrived from the west on Sunday, another was setting up checkpoints in suburbs on the eastern outskirts.
Rebel fighter Mohammed al-Zawi told AP he had been in a convoy of more than 10 lorries that entered the district of Ghot Shaal on the western edge of the city.
They advanced as far as the district of Girgash, about 2km from Green Square, the traditional rallying-point for Gaddafi loyalists over the years, when they came under sniper fire from a rooftop.
"They will enter Green Square tonight, God willing," he added.
Later reports suggested the rebels had edged closer to the square.
It is clear there have been bloody battles in parts of Tripoli, the BBC's Matthew Price reports from the city. In areas where the fighting has not been taking place, people are said to be staying indoors, our correspondent adds.
Gun battles raged near a hotel used by foreign journalists.
Unconfirmed rebel reports say a group of fighters slipped into Tripoli by sea from Misrata and engaged pro-Gaddafi forces in the city's eastern Tajoura district, where clashes between opponents and supporters of Col Gaddafi have been reported since Saturday.
Unrest was also reported in the eastern districts of Soug Jomaa and Arada.
Earlier on Sunday, rebels west of Tripoli captured the base of the Khamis Brigade, one of the best-trained and equipped units in the Libyan military, commanded by a son of Col Gaddafi.
Safe passage offer
The information minister insisted the government was "very resilient". "We have thousands and thousands of fighters," he said.
He accused Nato of backing "armed gangs" with air power, and added that a further 376 people had been killed and almost 900 injured in fighting on Saturday. The figures could not be verified independently.
Mr Ibrahim added that the Gaddafi government was prepared to negotiate directly with the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) but later on Sunday, Col Gaddafi issued a call on state TV for his supporters to "cleanse" Tripoli of rebels.
"How come you allow Tripoli, the capital, to be under occupation once again?" he asked. "The traitors are paving the way for the occupation forces to be deployed in Tripoli."
NTC chairman Mustafa Mohammed Abdul Jalil said the rebels would halt their offensive if Col Gaddafi announced his departure.
Speaking about Said al-Islam Gaddafi's reported capture, he said he was "being kept in a secure place under close guard until he is handed over to the judiciary".
He added that rebel forces would give Col Gaddafi and his sons safe passage out of the country.
"They have come, they have occupied Tripoli. How can you allow the colonialists to occupy Tripoli again, this is unacceptable! Tripoli has become like Baghdad, it is now being destroyed, it must end now, this shouldn't happen, go out and fight them. All the tribes leave your homes and fight (he names many tribes). Defend Tripoli like it was defended against the Italians. All come and defend Tripoli or you will become slaves tomorrow.
The French will occupy you, like the Italians have... They have started to arrive. There is no room for occupiers. Where will you flee you traitors! Go back to where you came from. NATO will not help you, they will destroy the buildings and cities we have built. Imams of mosques, lead the crowds, defend Tripoli.
Those who understand religion, those who understand Islam, go out take your weapons and defend Tripoli."