Libyan rebels on Monday fought forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi around oil installations in the key eastern town of Brega while keeping a firm grip on a residential zone, an AFP reporter saw.
Brega's eastern residential zone three -- rows of seaside apartment blocks that once housed the workforce of this strategic oil hub -- was under total rebel control.
Many homes in the town however have been pillaged while streets are littered with ammunition shells and the carcasses of Gaddafi's military vehicle destroyed by NATO's air strikes.
Rebels shuttled to and from the front line, which now lies in western Brega, near its oil installations, where they traded artillery fire with Gaddafi's troops.
Plumes of black smoke billowed across the sky as oil tankers burned after being set alight by loyalist forces, rebels said.
The coastline is booby-trapped with mines laid by Gaddafi's forces in a bid to deter attacks from the sea.