Libya crisis in maps: Day by day

Monday 28 March

Pro-Gaddafi forces have used heavy weaponry to check a rebel advance on the coastal city of Sirte, the Libyan leader's birthplace and a key target for westward-advancing rebels.

Anti-Gaddafi forces had made rapid progress westwards from their stronghold in Benghazi in recent days - greatly aided by international air strikes.

Rebels have been forced to retreat from the town of Nawfaliya, 120km (75 miles) from Sirte, to Bin Jawad, some 30km further east.

Government forces to the west of Bin Jawad have been firing artillery rockets at rebels just to its east. The rebels returned fire with Katyusha rockets.

Ships from the US Sixth Fleet attacked three Libyan ships that had been firing indiscriminately at merchant ships in the port of Misrata.

Rebels said tanks and troops loyal to Col Gaddafi had swept through the city 210km east of Tripoli, firing shells as they attacked, AFP reported.

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