Gadhafi Forces Retake Rebel Town, State TV Claims

Libyan state TV reported Sunday that the opposition-held town of al-Bregahad been "been cleansed from the criminal gangs and mercenaries, the area is now safe, and all citizens should go back to their work and their normal life."

Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have been fighting to recapture towns from the rebels since an uprising began last month.

Opposition leaders in Benghazi confirmed to CNN that their forces have left al-Brega, but they are calling their move a "tactical retreat."

The military has been pounding the key oil port of Ras Lanuf, once in the hands of rebel forces, and has taken control of towns such as nearby Bin Jawad. The Gadhafi government appears intent on retaking all territory from the opposition despite growing international pressure.

Libya's National Oil Corporation, meanwhile, urged companies to resume oil exports after saying that all ports are safe, state TV reported.

Also Sunday, the Maryland-based SITE Intelligence Group released a video in which it says Abu Yahya al-Libi, an al Qaeda leader, calls on Libyans to take up arms against Gadhafi.

The Libyan leader has frequently accused al Qaeda of being behind the unrest that began last month and has since spiraled into a civil war.
CNN