Libyan air forces have launched attacks on the eastern oil city of Brega in an effort to retake the port city from the rebels, according to media reports.

The Voice of America (VOA) reported that forces loyal to Gaddafi have taken control of oil installations, airport and port facilities in Brega, which is about 800 kilometers from Tripoli. However, according to Al Jazeera, the rebel forces have withstood the attack and maintained control over the town.

The Doha-based channel also said Gaddafi has accepted an offer from Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, to mediate the crisis.

Control over key oil towns is instrumental for Gaddafi's plans to dig in his toe and fight against the growing ranks of rebels. Even as Gaddafi is trying to hold on to power, showing off vestigial support for his regime in the capital Tripoli, reports have confirmed that he has lost grip on much of the rest of the country.

Quoting a tribal leader, CNN has reported that bombs have been dropped on military camps in Ajdabiya as well. The fighting in Ajdabiya and Benghazi has caused as many as 12 more deaths, VOA reported. The United Nations has estimated that more than 1,000 people have been killed so far in clashes.