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Davutoglu in Benghazi as Fighting Rages Outside Gadhafi’s Compound

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday to meet rebel governing council chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, an Agence France Presse journalist said.

Davutoglu arrived Tuesday morning in the rebel bastion, even as Moammar Gadhafi's forces staged a fightback in Tripoli against insurgents who had surged into the capital on Sunday.

The Turkish minister on Monday hailed the developments in Libya as a "significant achievement" and said the change in the North African country was a lesson for everyone.

In July, Turkey recognized the rebel National Transitional Council, based in Benghazi, as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people.

Davutoglu previously visited Benghazi on July 3.

In early May, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded Gadhafi leave power.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting broke out Tuesday between Gadhafi's forces and rebel fighters near the Libyan strongman's sprawling Bab al-Azizya residence in Tripoli, an AFP reporter said.

Journalists at the nearby Rixos hotel were shaken by a loud explosion at around 9.00 am (11:00 GMT) followed by the sound of rocket and heavy artillery fire.

Fighting raged in surrounding neighborhoods while planes thought to be those of NATO flew over the city.

Soldiers from the regime were posted around the hotel, which houses 30 international journalists.

Water and electricity services were cut off at the hotel for a third day on Tuesday after they were restored for an hour during the night.

Source: Agence France Presse


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