A pre-dawn state television broadcast claiming that Gaddafi's forces had recaptured Ras Lanouf, Benghazi, and Tobruq was met with heavy gunfire in Tripoli, even near Gaddafi's compound. The gunfire was followed by a flood of Gaddafi supporters waving flags and firing guns in the streets for several hours. The victorious message seemed to be an attempt to rally pro-Gaddafi forces as the rebels continue their progress toward the stronghold of Sirte, and it was quickly proven false, as residents and journalists in the three cities said there were no Gaddafi forces in the area. In Benghazi, up to eight British soldiers were captured by rebels as they attempted to escort a diplomat to the leaders of Gaddafi's opposition. (They were later released.) Meanwhile, rebel forces have fought on the ground and been attacked from the air as they advance on Sirte.
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