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Libyan opposition fighters prepare for battle

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

Libyan rebels run as a loyalist fighter jet flies over while preparing to battle in Ajdabiya on March 2 as troops loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes.

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

Libyan rebels prepare to battle in Ajdabiya on March 2, 2011as troops loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes, residents said.

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

Libyan rebels prepare to battle in Ajdabiya on March 2 as as troops loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes, residents said.

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

Molotov cocktails are pictured as Libyan rebels prepare to battle in Ajdabiya on March 2, as troops loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes, residents said.

Marco Longari / AFP - Getty Images

Libyan rebels prepare to battle in Ajdabiya on March 2 as troops loyal to Muammar Gadhafi and mercenaries armed with tanks and heavy artillery stormed the nearby city of Brega, 200 kilometres (125 miles) southwest of the main eastern city Benghazi, sparking heavy clashes, residents said.

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With reports of gains in the rebel-held East, Moammar Gadhafi and loyalist forces are continuing their counteroffensive with airstrikes, witnesses say. NBC's Jim Maceda reports from Tripoli.