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Libya: The Freedom Flag Flies Over Misurata (Videos)

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

Using air power and ground forces, forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Al Gaddafi attempted to regain lost cities in the central part of Libya on Sunday, March 6.

The uprising against the four-decade rule of Gaddafi official began February 17, and for the past few weeks has spread throughout the country. The once peaceful protests have been met with increasingly violent counterattacks. Large numbers of the Libyan armed forces have defected to the opposition, but analysts claim that Gaddafi most likely controls some 12,000 regular forces and an unknown number of paid mercenaries.

The cities of Bin Jawad, Ras Lanuf, Az-Zawiyah and Misurata all saw fighting Sunday. Both sides are using local and foreign media to rally its base, so claims of victories can be difficult to gauge. Libyan State Television reported that troops loyal to the regime had captured Ras Lanuf and Misurata. But this was denied by anti-Gaddafi forces.

We take a look at how action unfolded via Twitter in the site of one of its biggest battles, Misurata, Libya's third largest city with a population around 380,000 that sits about 200 kilometers east of Tripoli.

Tweeps from around the region began Sunday morning with warnings to Misurata's residents.

@jrug: Govt spokesman: “we have recaptured every city in Libya with small pockets of resistance”. Urges us to see celebrations in Tripoli.

@ShababLibya: Libyan TV radio and newspapers claim to have regained some cities in the East of Libya, which of course is untrue, #Libya #Feb17

@Gheblawi: #Gaddafi regime propaganda machine working hard today to convince the world that they are in control, let's stay positive & defiant #Libya

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Misurata local radio calls upon all residents to stay home except those who have weapons. Shelling & mortar attacks, tanks advance. #Libya

@libi4ever: Qadfi declares war on Zawia & Misrata today, new massacre will happen soon, world help us Qadfi kills all of us #libya

@ShababLibya: we would like to see Gaddafi march into his so called regained cities of Tobrog Zawia or Misrata #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Aljazeera live call from Misurata: We expect heavy attacks on our city, but we're on alert and well armed. #Libya

@libi4ever: Misrata&Zawaia women said we will die beside our men to bring freedom 2#libya

As the battle begun, news was difficult to come by.

@ShababLibya: AJA Caller, tanks enter the city of Misrata along with 3 – 4 armed personnel carriers #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes

@ShababLibya: Misrata is now seeing heavy fighting as pro gaddafi forces attack the city #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Live call from Misurata on Aljazeera: Shelling continues, some tanks have rolled in. One tank disabled so far. #Libya

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Live call from Misurata on Aljazeera: 3-4 tanks and 1-2 APCs cut off & surrounded by revolutionaries within the city. #Libya

But as the battle reached its conclusion — about five hours after it began — more information became available.

@AlArabiya_Eng: Revolutionary spokesman in Libyan town of #Zawiya says rebels still in control of town center, attack by #Gaddafi forces pushed back

@ShababLibya: AJA Caller, we do not expect Gaddafi to retake Misrata, this is likely to be a punishment #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimes

@iyad_elbaghdadi: Live call from Misurata on AJA: We are low on anesthetics, there are over 60 injured. #Libya

@LibyaInMe: CONFIRMED: Women of all ages are donating their blood for the injured in Misurata #libya #feb17

@AlmanaraMedia: Citizens in Misurata Libya celebrating the victory After Gaddafi's forces were expelled from the city..http://bit.ly/flh5LU

@AJELive: Dr Khaled in Misruata: “Hospital running out of drugs, emergency kits.” #AlJazeera's #Libya liveblog: http://aje.me/i1XpPx #gaddafi #feb17

After the heavy fighting, defenders rejoiced — and slowly started putting their city back together.

@ShababLibya: We are getting reports from Misrata that the city is free and they have captured some of the pro gaddafi forces #Libya #Feb17

@IbnOmar2005: B.R.Q |Misurata: 82-year-old man in hospital before donating his blood it was said to him, “O please do not, you are too old and you yourself in need of blood, ” .. he responded: “Take my blood or my soul will explode, i couldn't offer anything before, for a really long time, but now i could”.#libya #feb17 #Gaddafi

@sara055: RT @LibyaInMe: Misurata: Youth are cleaning the streets now are are waving the independence flag #libya #feb17 #gaddafi

@AJELive: #Libya: Dozens dead, 71 injured in Misurata fighting today. Interview live from the city on #AlJazeera soon: http://aje.me/fwtYjF #Feb17

@SultanAlQassemi: Al Arabiya: Journalist from Misurata: Misurata & Zawiya are still in the hands of the revolutionaries “We are used to Gaddafi's lies” #Libya

@LibyanTNC: Misrata has defeated Qadfi army,11African mercenaries were killed, 5 at least arrested, videos & pics later viva#libya

@SultanAlQassemi: Al Jazeera: Reuters: Libyan revolutionaries take full control of town of Misurata. #Libya

@LibyaInMe: CONFIRMED: Gaddafi's brigade have backed away from Misurata after the death of 22 of its men #feb17 #libya #gaddafi

@bnnlibya: UN has demanded urgent access to shelled Libyan city of Misurata – Al Arabiya #libya

@AlArabiya_Eng: Revolutionary spokesman in Libyan town of #Zawiya says rebels still in control of town center, attack by #Gaddafi forces pushed back

@BRQNews: B.R.Q | The Freedom flag is now raised over the free Misurata. #libya #feb17 #Gaddafi

Here is a video uploaded on Sunday, March 6 by libya2p0 of celebrations after turning back Gaddafi's forces.

Here's a video from the streets in Misurata, uploaded by omar225511.

This post is part of our special coverage Libya Uprising 2011.

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