The eastern Libyan town of Brega, which hosts an oil terminal, is under rebel control, and defected soldiers are helping rebels to secure the port, Reuters witnesses have said.
"This area is controlled by the people," said Mabrook Maghraby, a lawyer from Benghazi who is now involved with the local committees defending Brega.
Armed groups of locals guarded checkpoints on the road to the port. Posters of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, who is facing a rebellion against his rule, lay torn along the way.
The port sat empty. Several people guarding checkpoints and involved in the organizing committees said no ship had used the port since Wednesday.
Ali al-Ahrash, who said he was the "head of the body for the protection of oil institutions", said there had been looting at some oil installations but there had been no major damage.
"We don't expect any attacks on oil facilities at all," he said. Ahrash said oil production was down but that enough fuel was being provided for energy in the area and that local citizens were helping secure oil installations.
City A.M. Reporter