Forces attack Gaddafi stronghold Sirte as end of civil war approaches
Monday 10 October 2011
Forces loyal to Libya's new rulers had last night taken control of large areas of Sirte as they edged closer to being able to announce the end of the country's bitter civil war.
"It's near. I can't say how many days but it's near now," said Ahmed Sala, one of the commanders on the eastern side of the city, as his men stormed forward, planting the black, green and red rebel tricolour on rooftops as they took new ground.
Street battles raged around high-rise buildings in the centre of the city as a force of around 15,000 fighters battled Col Muammar Gaddafi's remaining supporters. The revolutionary forces have captured Ouagadougou, the showpiece conference centre where Gaddafi signed the African Union treaty and hosted visiting foreign leaders. They are also in control of Ibo Sir hospital in the south of the city.
When Sirte falls, the revolutionaries' temporary governing body, the National Transitional Council (NTC), has said it will announce an interim government and call elections to be held in eight months. But around eight square miles of high-rise buildings at the residential heart of the city remained under loyalist control yesterday and the fighters of the NTC, who began a major offensive on this loyalist bastion on Friday morning, were suffering heavy casualties.
Around 6,000 men from Misrata were grouped in the west of the city and more than 10,000 fighters from eastern cities are on the other side. The NTC forces were pushing in at five different points around the Sirte while tightening a defensive perimeter around it.
Holed up in the residential buildings at the heart of the city were the fallen regime's loyalists, who continued to resist the NTC assault. Key figures, including Gaddafi's son, Mutassim, were said to be among those holding out in the city. Rebel commanders who intercepted the loyalists' radio communications, claim to have heard his voice as he directs the resistance.
- 1 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 2 Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
- 3 George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
- 4 Saudi Arabia executes 19 in one half of August in 'disturbing surge of beheadings'
- 5 Brother and sister, Christopher Buckner and Timothy Savoy, arrested for 'committing incest after watching 'The Notebook''
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
Oil tanker with $100 million cargo goes missing off Texas coast
George Galloway left with severe bruising after attack in Notting Hill by man 'shouting about the Holocaust'
Lady al-Qa’ida: On the trail of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, the world’s most wanted prisoner
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
- < Previous
- Next >
£28000 - £30000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Junior VB.NET ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# .NET Web De...
Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: HAMPSHIRE MARKET TOWN - A highly attr...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Network Engineer (CCNP, CCNA, Linux, OSPF,...