Updated from 7:02 a.m. EST

TRIPOLI, Libya ( TheStreet) -- Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi said Wednesday that Libya's oil fields and ports are "safe" and "under control," The Associated Press reported.

Gadhafi, speaking from Tripoli, said Libya would replace Western banks and companies with others from China, Russia and Brazil.

Gadhafi spoke as his loyalists regained control Wednesday of a city in the country's mostly rebel-held eastern half, according to reports.

Gadhafi's forces retook control of Marsa El Brega, a key oil installation and port, and warplanes bombed an ammunition depot on the outskirts of nearby Ajdabiya, which also is controlled by the opposition, AP reported, citing witnesses.

Gadhafi's forces are escalating a counteroffensive after rebels seized control of the eastern half of the country and several cities and towns in the western half near Tripoli, the capital, AP reported.

The assaults were the most significant military success for Gadhafi, Reuters reported, since the rebel uprising began two weeks ago. The attacks by forces loyal to the dictator also set off a confrontation the U.S. says could spiral Libya into a civil war.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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