Pro- and anti-government forces fight for control of strategic towns including Brega, which houses a key oil facility.
"Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, are reported to have regained control of two strategic towns in the country's northwest, even as opposition fighters in the east prepare to march on the capital, Tripoli.
The claims about the fall of Gharyan and Sabratha on Wednesday came as fighting raged between pro- and anti-government forces over the control of the eastern town of Brega, the headquarters of several oil companies, and Gaddafi appeared on state television once again.
"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....."