By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi attacked several towns in eastern Libya today in a bid to regain territory held by antigovernment rebels.
Witnesses said fighter jets bombed the eastern city of Ajdabiyah, while truckloads of Qaddafi loyalists were reportedly heading toward the city.
In the nearby city of Brega, antigovernment forces say they have recaptured a key oil terminal that had fallen to pro-Qaddafi forces earlier in the day.
Meantime, two U.S. warships are passing through the Suez Canal on their way to waters off of Libya.
The amphibious assault ships the USS Kearsarge, which can carry 2,000 Marines, and the USS Ponce, entered the canal en route to the Mediterranean. Another destroyer (the USS Barry) moved through the Suez Canal on February 28.
The United Nations is warning of an expanding refugee emergency in connection with the crisis, saying that as many as 75,000 people have fled Libya for Tunisia since February 20.