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About Tobruk



Tobruk or Tubruq is a port city on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast, near the border with Egypt. It is the capital of the Butnan District (formerly Tobruk District) and has a population of 120,000 (2011 est.).

Tobruk was the site of an ancient Greek colony and, later, of a Roman fortress guarding the frontier of Cyrenaica. Over the centuries, Tobruk also served as a waystation along the coastal caravan route. By 1911, Tobruk had become an Italian military post, but duringWorld War II, Allied forces, mainly the Australian 6th Division, took Tobruk on 22 January 1941. The Australian 9th Division ("The Rats of Tobruk") pulled back to Tobruk to avoid encirclement after actions at Er Regima and Mechili and reached Tobruk on 9 April 1941 whereprolonged fighting against German forces followed. Rebuilt after World War II, Tobruk was later expanded during the 1960s to include aport terminal linked by an oil pipeline to the Sarir oil field.

King Idris of Libya had his palace at Bab Zaytun. Tobruk was traditionally a stronghold of the Senussi royal dynasty and one of the first to rebel against Colonel Gaddafi in the Arab Spring.

At the outset of the Libyan civil war, the city quickly came under the control of the NTC