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Libyan Provisional Fighters Attack Gadhafi's Hometown


A member of the forces loyal to Libya's interim rulers flashes the victory sign as he prepares for an assault on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte September 24, 2011.

A member of the forces loyal to Libya's interim rulers flashes the victory sign as he prepares for an assault on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte September 24, 2011.

Libya's provisional government fighters backed by NATO warplanes have fought their way into former leader Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

National Transitional Council fighters faced stiff resistance from snipers and other pro-Gadhafi forces.

Local authorities said at least two NTC fighters were killed and more than 20 wounded in intense battles.

NATO said its forces hit a number of pro-Gadhafi targets in Sirte in order to protect civilians from Gadhafi loyalists inside the town. NATO said that "among the reports emerging from Sirte are executions, hostage-taking, and the calculated targeting of individuals, families, and communities within the city."

The provisional fighters were also battling in Bani Walid, a desert town that is one of Gadhafi's few remaining strongholds.

Meanwhile, NTC chairman Mustafa Abdel Jalil promised to announce a new interim government in the coming week. He commented in Benghazi, where the NTC has been meeting to discuss a new government.

Jalil said membership in the provisional government is a right guaranteed to all Libyans.

Earlier, an NTC spokesman said the government would include 22 ministers and a deputy prime minister.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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