As western nations debate trying to establish a no fly zone over the country, Kadhafi forces push rebel forces out of a key oil producing area.

Moammar Gadhafi's forces swept rebels from a key oil town Sunday with waves of strikes from warships, tanks and warplanes, closing on the opposition-held eastern half of Libya as insurgents pleaded for a U.N.-imposed no-fly zone.

Gadhafi's troops have been emboldened by a string of victories in the struggle for Libya's main coastal highway but their supply lines are stretched and their dependence on artillery, airstrikes and naval attacks makes it hard for them to swiftly consolidate control of territory, particularly at night.

The insurgents claimed they moved back into the strategic town of Brega after dusk in a fast-moving battle with a constantly shifting front line, destroying armored vehicles and capturing dozens of fighters from Gadhafi's elite Khamis Brigade.

The United States sent U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton to meet with rebel leaders in Paris on Monday as world powers consider trying to ground Gadhafi's air force.