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Residents of some neighborhoods said they heard multiple explosions and gunfire Sunday. Rebel sources said the regime’s forces had shelled these areas and that as many as 120 civilians were believed to have been killed.

On Tripoli’s east, rebels took control of the Mitiga military airport. The airport served as a U.S. Air Force facility known as Wheelus Air Base until the late 1960s.

The uprising in Tripoli is taking place just days ahead of the Sept. 1 anniversary of the 1969 coup that brought Col. Gadhafi to power.

NATO provided air support to the rebels through the day as they advanced from Zawiyah to Tripoli.

Residents of the liberated neighborhoods greeted the rebels with celebratory gunfire and cheers. The old red, black and green rebel flag was flown in the liberated neighborhoods, instead of Col. Gadhafi’s green banner, and posters of the dictator were trampled.

The rebels in Tripoli received a boost with the arrival of hundreds of armed fighters from the western city of Misrata earlier on Sunday. The fighters bypassed the coastal road and arrived in Tajoura.

Two Tripoli residents who spoke to The Times on the condition of anonymity said clusters of pro-Gadhafi fighters remained holed up in the capital early on Monday.

“If the regime doesn’t collapse soon, things will turn bloody,” said Mohamed, a rebel spokesman in Misrata who only gave his first name.

“We are prepared for a worst-case scenario, which is that we have to fight for every street. We are prepared to go zenga zenga,” he added. Zenga is Arabic for alley.

The comment was a swipe at Col. Gadhafi, who in a televised speech at the start of the uprising in February exhorted his supporters to wipe out the protesters “zenga zenga.”

In the west of Tripoli, rebels advancing from Zawiyah overran and ransacked a military base known as “Kilometer 27.”

The base is the headquarters of the army brigade led by Col. Gadhafi’s Russian-trained son, Khamis. The 32nd Brigade, which is more widely known as the Khamis Brigade, is an elite fighting force that is loyal to the Gadhafis and has been responsible for much of the fighting since the start of uprising in February.

Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, vice chairman of the rebels’ Transitional National Council, said, “The zero hour has started. The rebels in Tripoli have risen up.”

Meanwhile, President Obama, vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., was briefed on the developments by his counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan. He also received reports from the U.S. team in the rebels’ de facto capital, Benghazi in Libya’s east.

The White House released a statement Sunday night in which Mr. Obama repeated his calls that Col. Gadhafi should step down immediately and said the events in Tripoli marked a “tipping point.”

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