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After weeks of debate, the United Nations finally approved a no-fly zone in Libya, helping rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy at perhaps the last possible moment. Rebels had been driven back by the Libyan army to their last stronghold, the eastern city of Benghazi, and appeared ready to be overrun there as well. Two nights of bombardment by coalition forces have sent the army into retreat, and a missile struck Khadafy's compound in Tripoli, but the final outcome of the conflict is far from clear. Collected here are images from the last few days of fighting. For an earlier Big Picture post on the conflict, see the links below. -- Lane Turner (33 photos total)
Vehicles belonging to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi explode after an air strike by coalition forces, along a road between Benghazi and Ajdabiyah March 20. (Goran Tomasevic/Reuters)

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As militiamen and mercenaries loyal to Moammar Khadafy ferociously strike back at rebels in and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, much of the rest of the nation is embracing a bracing reality: After 41 years of ruthless and total control by Khadafy, they are suddenly free to rule themselves. In Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the cradle of the revolt, chants of jubilation are interspersed with quiet meetings. Neighborhood leaders are working to figure out such tasks as how to direct traffic and ensure utilities are up and running as they craft a plan for the future of the city. For guest workers and other expatriates, the future is no longer Libya. By the tens of thousands, they have been attempting to flee the violence, massing at ports as they await ships, overrunning the main airport,, and crossing by any means possible into Tunisia. Here's a look at one day -- Thursday -- in the life of those parts of Libya under rebel control. -- Paula Nelson (33 photos total)
Exclamations of joy fill the air as residents of Benghazi find themselves in an unimaginable situation: Freed from Moammar Khadafy's rule for the first time in more than four decades. (Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

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