Further west in the Nafusa mountains, an area that has remained largely inaccessible to journalists, pro-democracy fighters have been under siege from Muammar Gaddafi's forces for two months.
The Nafusa mountain area is home to Libya's Berber minority. The fighting in the mountain region has sent thousands fleeing into nearby Tunisia.
Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught has travelled there and met a community that says it is gaining ground against Libya's longtime leader.
The Libyan pro-democracy forces have been trying since mid-February to end Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule but have struggled against his more experienced and better equipped forces.