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Going, going, gone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 10:21 PM
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Well, that was quick. As you may have noticed, things are rapidly progressing from the outside in as the turmoil in the Middle East has now taken down two oil rich countries.

Dictator Loses Grip in Desert

On the ground in the eastern chunk of this oil-rich desert nation, the signs of rebellion are plain to see in the armories of a military base near Baida: Weapons crates lay busted open and empty. Rifles are missing from their racks. Left behind are helmets and gas masks and cleaning kits—things that can't shoot.

For four days, rebels newly armed with anti-aircraft guns and Kalashnikovs battled forces loyal to Libyan strongman Col. Moammar Gadhafi and commanded by one of his sons. After days of firefights, feints and an ambush on unarmed local sheiks, the regime forces surrendered their hold on the vital local airport Tuesday morning—placing nearly all of eastern Libya outside Col. Gadhafi's control.

The battle for Baida airport is one example of how quickly the tide across Libya has turned against Col. Gadhafi. A brutal crackdown by pro-Gadhafi forces across the country has left at least 300 dead over six days, civil-rights groups say.

 

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