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In PHOTOS: The six-month battle for Libya

Last updated on: August 22, 2011 16:40 IST

In PHOTOS: The six-month battle for Libya

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After six months of struggle, the battle to oust Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi from his throne is nearing its end.

Let's take a look at some of the important developments leading to the rebel capture of Libyan capture of Tripoli.

February 15, 2011: Protests begin in the eastern port city of Benghazi, Libya, and spread to Zintan, al Bayda and Quba. Security forces respond with live fire from snipers and helicopter gunships. Within a week, there are reports of 1,000 people dead.

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Image: A Tunisian woman carries her belongings as she crosses into Tunisia at the Ras Jdir border crossing after fleeing unrest in Libya February 23
Photographs: Yannis Behrakis/Reuters
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The six-month battle for Libya

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February 21: British Prime Minister David Cameron says violence used against protesters in Libya is 'appalling and unacceptable', US President Barack Obama follows suit three days later.

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Image: A man walks with his children past an army armoured vehicle at a military airport runway in the eastern Libyan town of Al Abrak February 24
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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February 22: Colonel Gaddafi says he will fight to his 'last drop of blood' to remain at the helm and denounces protesters as 'mercenaries' who were drugged and manipulated by foreign powers wanting to turn Libya into an Islamic state.

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Image: The mother of Salem Al-Moqlah, a Libyan who was killed in the clashes, reacts next to his grave in a cemetery in Benghazi February 26
Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters
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February 25: Rebel forces are in control in the majority of key cities, including Misurata, Ajdabaja, Sirte, Tobruk and Zawiya. Gaddafi appears in Tripoli's Green Square to urge supporters to "fight those who are against us".

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Image: Anti-government tribal rebels prepare for possible attacks by pro-Gaddafi loyalists at a checkpoint in Ajdabiya area, 150 km (93.2 miles) southwest of Benghazi February 27
Photographs: Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
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March 4: Six members of the British SAS dropped into the Libyan desert by helicopter as part of a "diplomatic mission" to befriend the rebels are arrested by them as they arrive in Benghazi.

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Image: A Libyan army tank manned by soldiers opposed to leader Muammar Gaddafi is surrounded by protesters in the city of Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of the capital Tripoli March 1
Photographs: Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters
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March 17: The UN imposes a no-fly zone in Libyan airspace. Col Gaddafi declares a ceasefire but reports show his forces continuing to fight the rebels

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Image: Rebels hold a young man at gunpoint, who they accuse of being a loyalist to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, between the towns of Brega and Ras Lanuf, March 3
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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March 22: Pro-government troops retake Ajdabiya, Zawiyah, Ras Lanuf and parts of Brega, and lay siege to Misurata, blocking the arrival of medicine and food at the port to around 5,000 people. In the following weeks, control of key cities swings back and forward.

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Image: A woman rebel fighter supporter shoots an AK-47 rifle as she reacts to the news of the withdrawal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces from Benghazi March 19
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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March 24: NATO agrees to take command of the mission enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

March 30: Moussa Koussa, the Libyan Foreign Minister, arrives in Britain and says he is defecting from Gaddafi's regime. Libya diplomats are expelled from London.

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Image: A rebel fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade launcher in front of a gas storage terminal during a battle on the road between Ras Lanuf and Bin Jiwad, March 9
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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March 31: NATO announces that it has begun Operation Unified Protector in Libya, including an arms embargo, a no-fly zone and "actions to protect civilians and civilian centres."

April 6: Gaddafi urges US President Barack Obama to end the NATO bombing of his war-torn country, making an appeal in a letter to the American president. Gaddafi asks Obama to stop what he calls the "unjust war against a small people of a developing country," adding that those in the opposition are terrorists and members of Al Qaeda, the official said.

April 29: In a speech, Gaddafi urges NATO to negotiate an end to airstrikes, accusing the international coalition of killing civilians and destroying the nation's infrastructure in a bid to take over its oil production.

April 30: NATO launches a missile attack on a house in Tripoli. The attack kills one of Gaddafi's sons, Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, and several of his grandchildren.

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Image: Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20
Photographs: Goran Tomasevic/Reuters
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April 30: Gaddafi's youngest son Saif al-Arab is killed by a Nato airstrike, along with three grandchildren. The following day, the British and Italian Embassies in Tripoli are attacked.

May 8: Al-Obeidy, who garnered worldwide attention for her vocal allegations of rape against Gaddafi's regime, says she has fled Libya, fearing for her safety. She crossed into Tunisia with the help of a defecting military officer and his family. A month later, she finds temporary sanctuary in Qatar before being deported back to Libya.

May 22: The European Union opens an office in the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi.

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Image: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son, Saif al-Islam, pauses during an interview with Reuters in Tripoli March 10
Photographs: Chris Helgren/Reuters
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June 1: NATO announces that it is extending its mission in Libya for 90 days. Libya's oil minister defects to Italy. He left because the suffering of the country's people had become unbearable.

June 14: South African President Jacob Zuma lashes out at NATO, arguing that the organization is misusing the United Nations resolution meant to protect civilians "for regime change, political assassinations and foreign military occupation."

July 15-27: The United States and the United Kingdom join countries recognising the Transitional National Council as "the legitimate governing authority" in Libya.

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Image: A Libyan woman holding a Kingdom of Libya flag walks past a caricature of Muammar Gaddafi near the court house in Benghazi June 8
Photographs: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters
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June 27: The International Criminal Court in The Hague issues a warrant for the arrest of Gaddafi, his son Saif al-Islam and his head of intelligence.

July 28: Rebel leaders announce that the commander of Libya's rebel army was assassinated in Benghazi along with two senior officers, just hours after claiming big successes on the battlefield.

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Image: A rebel fighter runs during a shootout with forces loyal to Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi on the outskirts of Al-Briqa, west of Ajdabiyah, July 14
Photographs: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters
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August 9: Libyan Transitional National Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil dismisses the rebels' 14-member executive board, a spokesman for the council says.

August 15: Gaddafi urges Libyans to fight opposition forces and "cleanse this sweet and honorable land." In a speech broadcast on state television, Gaddafi says: "The strikes will be over and NATO will be defeated. Move always forward to the challenge; pick up your weapons; go to the fight in order to liberate Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO. Be prepared to fight if they hit the ground."

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Image: A Libyan rebel fighter prepares anti-aircraft ammunition as he wears the cap of a pro-Muammar Gaddafi officer at Misrata's western front line, some 25 km (16 miles) from the city centre, June 4
Photographs: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters
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August 16: Col Roland Lavoie, a spokesman for NATO's military operation, tells reporters that "anti-Gaddafi forces are now assuming control of the key approaches to Tripoli." A spokesman for the Gaddafi government offers a different view. "We are doing very well," spokesman Musa Ibrahim says.

August 18: Libyan Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoodi says the military is "powerful enough to finish this battle" to its advantage, but warned that the cost would be too high, calling again for dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully rather than militarily. Meanwhile, a brother of Musa Ibrahim, the spokesman for the government in Tripoli, was killed Thursday night by NATO aircraft, a Libyan government official said.

August 19: US officials say Gaddafi may be making preparations for a "last stand" in Tripoli as a monthlong NATO air campaign continues amid reports of rebel advances.

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Image: A girl stands in the doorway of a home destroyed in battles between rebel fighters and forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on Tripoli street in central Misrata May 29
Photographs: Zohra Bensemra/Reuters
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August 21: In an audio-only address on state television, Gaddafi calls on Libyans to rally to the defense of Tripoli, as rebels capture two of his sons. The International Criminal Court says it plans to negotiate the transfer of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi who is wanted for crimes against humanity, along with his father. Rebels declare Sunday "Day 1," saying "Gaddafi is already finished," while NATO says the regime was "crumbling." Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim says some 1,300 people are killed and about 5,000 wounded in 12 hours of fighting.

August 22: A rebel spokesman says Libya is now under the control of the opposition The holdout now: A barrage of clashes with Gaddafi forces on the leader's home turf, Tripoli.

Where is Gaddafi? Click on MORE...


Image: A man lets off fireworks near the courthouse in Benghazi August 22 to celebrate the entry of rebel fighters into Tripoli
Photographs: Esam Al-Fetori/Reuters
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