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Libyan rebel fighters surrounded Muammar Gaddafi’s fortified Bab al-Aziziya compound in Tripoli on Tuesday and some entered one of its outer gates, an Al Jazeera correspondent said.

In the east of the country, rebels had taken control of the vital oil town of Ras Lanuf and pushed loyalist fighters back to the outskirts of the town of Bin Jawad, Al Jazeera said.

Gaddafi forces were retreating towards his hometown of Sirte further west, the satellite news channel cited one of its correspondents as saying.

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