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Giulio Petrocco, Associated Press
Libyan rebels are seen in the back of a pick-up truck headed for the frontline near Zawiya in western Libya, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. Libyan rebels fought their way into the strategic city of Zawiya west of Tripoli on Saturday in their most significant advance in months, battling snipers on rooftops and heavy shelling from Moammar Gadhafi's forces holding the city.

ZAWIYA, Libya — Residents say Libyan rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are battling inside Zawiya a day after opposition fighters entered the strategic western city.

An Associated Press reporter in Zawiya says pro-Gadhafi snipers are shooting at rebels from an overpass deep in the city. Sporadic loud booms can be heard echoing across Zawiya, and a column of heavy black smoke can be seen rising over the city's outskirts.

Zawiya is 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Tripoli, Libya's capital, and has been a key target for rebels waging a new offensive launched from the mountains in the far west of Libya to topple Gadhafi's regime.

A group of some dozen men in Zawiya were greeting rebels with chants of "freedom, freedom" Sunday.