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Rebels target Gaddafi’s hometown


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Rebels target Gaddafi’s hometown

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Libyan rebel forces are trying to push towards Col Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, having taken most of Tripoli.
But they have faced fierce resistance from Gaddafi loyalists on the approach to the city, which is still under loyalist control.
There are reports of fresh fighting in Tripoli, which had mostly been quiet overnight.
The rebel government leader Mahmoud Jibril has appealed for urgent aid to avert a humanitarian crisis.
Basic supplies and power are running low – the National Transitional Council (NTC) has said it urgently needs $5bn (£3bn) to prevent further destabilisation.
The UN is expected to vote this week on a resolution to release some $1.5bn (£1bn) of assets that were frozen under sanctions.
Some $500m has been released, but South Africa has stalled Washington’s attempts to release more, saying it wants to wait for guidance from the African Union, which has not recognised the rebel leadership.
The rebel fighters advancing towards Sirte were said to be blocked in the town of Bin Jawad as loyalists kept up stiff resistance.
“Gaddafi’s forces are still fighting, we are surprised,” rebel commander Fawzi Bukatif was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.
“We thought they would surrender with the fall of Tripoli.”
Col Gaddafi’s sprawling Bab al-Aziziya compound was overrun on Tuesday. Firefights continued on Tuesday by Wednesday, correspondents said there was only some sporadic incoming fire.
The rebel fighters have been breaking into the complex tunnel system underneath the compound, searching for Col Gaddafi and his fighters. The bodies of several Gaddafi fighters have been found inside.
 

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