Libyan rebels occupying oil ports clashed with troops yesterday after attacking an army base where reinforcements were preparing for an offensive to break the blockade.

Anti-aircraft gunfire and explosions were heard in Ajdabiya, home town of rebel leader Ibrahim Jathran, whose fighters seized three ports last summer to demand a greater share in Libya's oil wealth.

Former anti-Gaddafi rebels and militias refuse to disarm and use force or control over oil facilities to back demands on a state whose army is still being trained.

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