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Libya rebels 'take border post'

A Libyan rebel leader claims that opposition forces have taken control of a post on the Tunisian border near a former rebel-held town.

The reported capture of the Dhuheiba border crossing could open important channels to the nearby desert town of Nalut, about 140 miles south-west of the capital Tripoli.

The town was in the hands of anti-government forces last month before Libyan troops moved in.

The rebel leader, Shaban Abu Sitta, said the border post was taken after three days of intense battles with government soldiers outside Nalut. The claim could not be independently verified.

Muammar Gaddafi's forces have sharply restricted the movement of journalists in the areas they control in western Libya.

Meanwhile, on the Ionian Spirit ferry - part of a maritime lifeline to Misrata - Libyan civilians and migrant workers packed the decks, hallways and all other available space. The injured were brought to the lower level of the ship, where an 11-member medical team set up a makeshift intensive care unit.

Jeremy Haslam, a co-ordinator from the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration, said the boat has more than 1,000 evacuees including 239 Libyan civilians and 586 migrants from Niger and others from Africa and Asia.

The vessel carried the bodies of Chris Hondros, a New York-based photographer for Getty Images, and British-born Tim Hetherington, co-director of the 2010 Afghanistan war documentary Restrepo that was nominated for an Academy Award. The film was co-directed by Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm.

Later, the US government said Gaddafi's administration may be targeting Libyan civilians with cluster bombs.

She said: "Col Gaddafi's troops continue their vicious attacks, including the siege of Misrata. There are even reports that Gaddafi forces may have used cluster bombs against their own people."

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