News / Africa

Libyan NTC: Gadhafi-Backers Cornered in Sirte

A Libyan NTC fighter walks amongst the rubble of a destroyed building the Gadhafi palace in Sirte, Oct. 9, 2011.
A Libyan NTC fighter walks amongst the rubble of a destroyed building the Gadhafi palace in Sirte, Oct. 9, 2011.

Libya's revolutionary forces say they have loyalist fighters cornered in former leader Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, where desperate civilians are still trying to flee the fierce street fighting.

Burned-out vehicles blocked roads Monday as provisional government tanks and artillery pounded pro-Gadhafi positions that NTC fighters said were squeezed into two neighborhoods.

On Sunday, National Transitional Council fighters in Sirte took three important landmarks - the city's main hospital, the university and the Ouagadougou convention center that Gadhafi loyalists had used as their main base of operation.

Most NTC forces attacking Sirte are from other towns, putting them at a distinct disadvantage against the remnants of Mr. Gadhafi's army who know the city well. Many civilians from Sirte also are fighting alongside loyalist fighters.

In the southern city of Bani Walid, the other remaining pro-Gadhafi bastion, revolutionary fighters retreated from the town center after facing heavy sniper fire and booby-traps, but they still hold the airport and two nearby villages.

NTC officials say the capture of Sirte will allow them to declare the country liberated, because it will mean the provisional government controls all of the country's ports and harbors.

Sirte is 360 kilometers east of Libya's capital, Tripoli, and has served as a center of support for Mr. Gadhafi. Anti-Gadhafi fighters have been trying to move into the city for three weeks.

Also Monday, an NTC official said he believes Mr. Gadhafi is hiding in the southwestern desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.

Moussa al-Kouni, a minority Tuareg representative on the council, provided no evidence for his claim. He also denied that ethnic Tuaregs are protecting the fugitive leader.

Some military officials have alleged that members of the nomadic community are helping Mr. Gadhafi survive. The group inhabits the desert border of Niger, Mali, Libya, Algeria and Chad and has long been among the former leader's strongest supporters. Many Tuaregs fought for Mr. Gadhafi during the civil war.

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

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid