"They tried to take Brega this morning, but they failed," Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the February 17th Coalition, an anti-government group, told the Reuters news agency. "It is back in the hands of the revolutionaries. He is trying to create all kinds of psychological warfare to keep these cities on edge."
Al Jazeera's Jacky Rowland, reporting from Bengazi, Libya's second largest city now controlled by rebels, described the situation in the Brega region as fluid. " I think it's fair to say that here is a fair amount of fighting going on in that area," she said.
Earlier the Associated Press news agency quoted Ahmed Jerksi, manager of the oil installation in Brega, as saying that pro-Gaddafi forces took control of the facility at dawn without using force. There were conflicting claims about the casualties from these battles.
Government forces were also reported to be battling to regain control of rebel-held towns close to Tripoli, trying to create a buffer zone around what is still Gaddafi's seat of power. Our correspondent said an air raid carried out by forces loyal to Gaddafi reportedly targeted a weapons store about 6km outside the eastern town of Ajdabiya.
Witnesses told the Associated Press news agency that they saw two warplanes bomb the town's eastern outskirts at 10am local time. They also said pro-Gaddafi forces were advancing on the town. "I see two jets bombing now,'' one witness said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Another witness said rebel forces were rushing to the western side of Ajdabiya to meet the advancing pro-Gaddafi force.
Repeated air raids
Libyan forces have launched repeated air raids during the two-week revolt but all of them have been reported to target facilities that store weapons in areas controlled by the rebels. Wednesday's developments come as the US sent warships to the region as part of a Western effort to pile more pressure on Gaddafi to stop his violent crackdown and step aside.
Rising from the flames: A man waves a poster of Gaddafi that were distributed after a fuel tanker explosion in Tripoli this morning
Panic: Emergency services attend to the scene of a fuel-tanker explosion, which security forces at the scene said was due to a road accident