Libya's NTC steps back after heavy fighting with Gaddafi remnants in Sirte   2011-10-17 05:47:46 FeedbackPrintRSS

Video>> Libya NTC steps up security in Tripoli

TRIPOLI, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Fighters of Libya' s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) on Sunday retreated from several positions in the northern coastal town of Sirte, so as to allow NATO to bomb sites that are holding up the remaining forces of the previous leadership.

According to a source close to the NTC, their fighters fought fierce battles on Sunday with the diehard loyalists of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi at the Dollar district and the so-called Area Two of Sirte, hometown of the country's 42-year-long ruler.

The battles forced the NTC fighters to pull back, which will give way to NATO's aircraft and heavy artilleries aiming at hideouts of the pro-Gaddafi forces, said the source, who asked to remain anonymous.

Meanwhile, a military source in Benghazi, Libya 's second largest city, was quoted as saying by local newspaper Cyrene that the NTC has continued to besiege Sirte on all sides, and advanced several kilometers inside the Clio neighborhood.

Moreover, the source said that Mutassim, Gaddafi's fourth son, might be still in Sirte. Conflicting information occurred in the previous days on the capture of Mutassim in Sirte, where prolonged battles have killed tens of NTC fighters.

On Saturday, the NTC moderated offensives on Sirte to secure the exits of civilians still trapped inside the city where an estimated 400 pro-Gaddafi soldiers and mercenaries, with few heavy weapons but snipers and some RPGs, were making a gamble final fight.

NTC leaders have repeatedly vowed to take full control of Sirte in a timely fashion, but fierce resistance from pro-Gaddafi forces makes the prospect of the coastal town still misty.


Libya's Bani Walid "liberated:" official

TRIPOLI, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- An official of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) said Sunday that Bani Walid, one of a couple of remaining strongholds of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, has been "liberated."

Mahmoud Tawfiq, a spokesman of the southern front in Bani Walid, some 180 km southeast of the capital Tripoli, told Xinhua that the NTC fighters will "dock with" each other on Monday after entering the city from three sides. Full story

Libyan NTC, civilians set to uproot Gaddafi's compound in capital

TRIPOLI, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- A group of people of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) started on Sunday to demolish the surrounding wall of the Bab al-Azizya compound in southern Tripoli, a symbol of the long-term rule of the fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Some pickups with the NTC's tricolor flag are seen near the site, suggesting that the act might have been an order from the ruling authorities, a Xinhua reporter said. Full story

Special Report: Foreign Military Intervention in Libya

Editor: yan
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