TRIPOLI, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have declared victory in the stronghold of Misrata as soldiers fought their way into the city center, a government spokesman said Monday.
Government forces had started wiping out the remaining rebel forces inside Misrata, a city some 200 km east of Tripoli, Moussa Ibrahim told a local television station.
Ibrahim said local tribal forces had provided much help to maintain the city's security during the fighting.
The spokesman also denied the rebel claim that they had taken the city of Zawiyah, some 50 km west of Tripoli. He said the rebel forces in Zawiyah were weak and that it was only a matter of time before their defeat.
The rebels on Sunday claimed to have entered Zawiyah and controlled the vital transportation route between Libya's capital and the western mountainous areas.
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