Libyan forces enter Sirte

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Libyan provisional government forces entered the Muammar Gaddafi stronghold of Sirte today and came under heavy sniper fire as NATO planes roared overhead, Reuters journalists said.

Huge plumes of black smoke rose over the town as National Transitional Council forces massed in Zafran Square about half a milefrom its centre. Gunfire could be heard from the town centre as NTC fighters moved tanks and mortars into the square.

Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, is one of the two main remaining bastions of support for the deposed leader.