TRIPOLI, Libya (Sept. 16) – Forces have entered the last stronghold of defiant Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi breaking all the defences and defeating pro-Gaddafi forces around coastal city of Sirte, says Libya’s interim government.
|Anti-Gaddafi Forces Entered Sirte, the Last Stronghold of Col. Muammar Gaddafi |
National Transitional Council (NTC) officials told late Thursday several thousand of their fighters from Misrata advanced into the centre of former leader Muammar Gaddafi's hometown, where they faced heavy resistance from elite loyalist troops and snipers.
Four of their fighters had been killed and seven others wounded in this fight to conquer Sirte, NTC military officials told further.
On Thursday British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy were warmly welcomed by masses in Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, where they promised that the NATO military campaign would continue for as long as it is needed.
The two leaders said they would introduce a United Nations Security Council draft resolution Friday that would establish a U.N. mission in Libya, unfreeze Libyan assets, remove the no-fly zone for civilian flights and abolish the international arms embargo.
They also said they would assist Libya's new government to extend its authority throughout the country and track down Mr. Gaddafi and members of his inner circle.
In Tripoli, Mr. Cameron called on the fugitive leader and his followers to “give up.” Mr. Sarkozy added that he would urge authorities in neighboring Niger, a former French colony, to detain Mr. Gaddafi's associates who entered the country in recent days.
The visiting leaders held talks in Tripoli with National Transitional Council Chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who said the NTC will reward key allies for their help in ending Mr. Gadhafi's rule as it decides future oil and gas contracts.
Britain and France pushed for NATO action to protect civilians against forces loyal to Mr. Gadhafi, and the French were the first to recognize the NTC as the official representative of the Libyan people.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also scheduled to visit Libya this week as part of a North African tour.