Soldiers stand on a bombed building inside Bab Al Aziziya in Muammar Gaddafi’s heavily fortified Tripoli compound. Image Credit: Reuters

Tripoli/Dubai: A Libyan navy base some 10 kilometres east of the Libyan capital was bombarded late on Monday, said witnesses who reported seeing flames there.

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Muammar Gaddafi is losing his grip over power following two days of air strikes by international coalition forces enforcing UN Resolution 1973 in Libya, Libyan revolutionaries said on Monday.

Ahmad Al Obaidi, member of the February 17th Revolutionary Coalition told Gulf News that militiamen and mercenaries reached Benghazi in scores yesterday looking for food and medical treatment.

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"The soldiers claimed that they have defected from Gaddafi's command and would like to join the revolutionaries if accepted. Most of them were in a miserable condition with wounds and fractures and were looking tfor medical treatment," Al Obaidi said.

He added that the revolutionaries will offer them the help they need according to international conventions, but will hold mercenaries accountable for the crimes committed against the Libyan people.

"The incident is a testimony that Gaddafi is losing his grip er his forces. We are expecting to be able to recapture all the cities that Gaddafi has taken in recent weeks. The revolutionaries are planning to make their move in a day or two once they get the signal from the international coalition forces," Al Obaidi said.

He added that revolutionaries are prepared to mount an operation to liberate the people of Tripoli in 48 hours.

Al Obaidi criticised the statement issued by Amr Mousa, Secretary General of the Arab League, regarding the attacks by the international coalition forces and urged Arabs and Muslims around the world to understand the position of Libyan revolutionaries.

"We are not fighting a regime that will allow us to demonstrate. Gaddafi is using surface-to-surface missiles to attack people inside their homes. This has never been done anywhere on earth.

"We have resisted a lot before asking for international intervention and we realised that Gaddafi has no problems with killing all Libyans to keep his family and himself alive and in control of Libyan oil," he said.

Libyan government forces pulled back 100 kilometres from Benghazi but showed they still had plenty of fight as they beat off an insurgent advance yesterday. They retreated to the key town of Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi.

- With inputs from agencies