Reporting from Kikla, Libya — Rebels and forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi exchanged ferocious barrages of antiaircraft and machine-gun fire Sunday as NATO warplanes pounded government-held areas on the edge of the rebel-controlled Nafusa Mountain range, ending a relative lull in combat in western Libya.
Fighting also erupted near the mountain town of Bir Ghanam on the southern edge of Zawiya province, whose main city of the same name was briefly under rebel control.
The latest round of clashes began after Kadafi's forces fired Russian-made Grad rockets at rebel positions in key highland areas. At least one rebel was killed and two injured, but the insurgents held their ground, said one of their commanders, who requested anonymity because he has family in Tripoli, the capital and Kadafi's stronghold.
Rebels in the Nafusa Mountains, a 90-mile range near the Tunisian border with sparsely populated villages and towns, rose up against Kadafi's four-decade rule in February, taking up arms when confronted with his military force.