LIBYA LATEST: RAF Marham Tornados destroy seven tanks, as rebels continue advance

Aircraft from the Norfolk base, operating from Italy, have struck another blow against Col Gaddafi's forces.

Tornados operating from the Gioia del Colle air base, in southern Italy, used Brimstone missiles and Paveway bombs in the area of Ajdabiyah hitting two tanks and in the area of Misratah hitting five tanks.

Both areas have been the focus of fierce fighting in recent weeks as rebels battle troops loyal to Colonel Gaddafi.

The Ministry of Defence said: 'Royal Air Force aircraft hit seven main battle tanks on Friday, as part of the UK's continued support for NATO's Operation Unified Protector to protect Libyan civilians and enforce UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

'The weapons were discharged as part of armed air reconnaissance and overwatch patrols conducted over Misratah, Brega and Ajdabiyah.'

Rebel fighters in Libya said they have pushed deeper toward the oil port of Brega, a key prize in the back-and-forth battles with government forces.

Rebels said they took two prisoners after a clash today with soldiers near Brega's university. The campus is outside the government-controlled oil facilities, but it marks a noticeable advance by rebels struggling to push back Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

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The eastern Libyan port has changed hands more than five times since the uprising against Gaddafi's rule began in February. The port and oil storage facilities are strategic for both sides.

Rebels have regrouped on the front lines after a mass retreat on Thursday when Nato airstrikes accidentally hit a rebel armoured column.

Five rebels were killed in the apparent case of friendly fire on trucks and tanks in the eastern port of Brega.