Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is pulling no punches. Loyalist forces launched a fierce assault on Zawiyah using air strikes and heavy bombardment from tanks and cannon. The town is a major thorn in Gaddafi’s side because it’s the closest rebel stronghold to Tripoli, the capital and one of his few remaining centers of power. Rebels say the city is nearly encircled and described scenes of horror inside, while government officials claimed they were already in control. There are also reports of fighting in western Libya.