Renewed Fighting in Libya, Gaddafi Rejects Political Maneuvers

Cairo, Jul 16 (Prensa Latina) In Libya, the battle over a strategic highway junction intensified on Saturday, and leader Muammar Gaddafi condemned U.S. recognition of the self-appointed National Transition Council.

The highway junction near the towns of Bir Ghanam and Garyan in western Libya is strategic because of its proximity to the capital, Tripoli, and was the scene of fierce fighting between government troops and rebel forces, according to various reports.

The area is also close to the Jabal Nefusa Mountains, where the opposition has a command post to coordinate military actions that have not succeeded in removing Gaddafi from power, despite logistical support from NATO countries and repeated bombings by NATO aircraft over the last four months.

On Friday night, Gaddafi addressed a recorded speech to thousands of his supporters, who assembled in the streets of Tripoli, and condemned a U.S. announcement earlier that day of its recognition of the National Transition Council.

In recognizing the council, Washington justified its handover to that group of a substantial part of Libyan funds that were frozen in Western banks, to use that money to pay for NATO operations against Libya.

Until now, the countries most active in the bombings, the United States, UK, France, Italy and Spain, have spent some 1.1 billion euros (about 1.5 billion USD) on their anti-Libya operations.

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