News / Africa

Libyan Rebels Move Closer to Sirte

A man waves a white flag from a car loaded with his family and their belongings at a rebel checkpoint 99 miles (160 kilometers) from Sirte, Libya, August 28, 2011
A man waves a white flag from a car loaded with his family and their belongings at a rebel checkpoint 99 miles (160 kilometers) from Sirte, Libya, August 28, 2011

Libyan anti-Gadhafi forces are drawing closer to Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, as they continue to search for the embattled leader after seizing control of the country's capital.

Rebel commanders in Misrata say opposition forces pushing towards Sirte from the west have moved within 30 kilometers of the coastal city, which is located 450 kilometers east of Tripoli.  An opposition spokesman said Sunday that anti-government forces would seize Sirte by force if negotiations with tribal leaders for its surrender failed.

Gadhafi has not been seen since rebel fighters seized Tripoli, and the Sirte region is considered one area where he may have fled.

The head of the opposition Transitional National Council, Mustafa Jalil, said Monday that Mr. Gadhafi still poses a threat to Libya and the world.  Jalil also called for the continued support of NATO, which has been carrying out airstrikes against pro-Gadhafi forces since March under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians.  His comments came as defense officials from countries involved militarily in Libya met in Qatar.

Earlier Sunday, rebels said they had captured the town of Bin Jawad, 150 kilometers east of Sirte, after several days battling loyalist fighters.

Human rights activists say pro-Gadhafi forces committed possible war crimes as rebels moved into the Libyan capital last week, killing scores of detainees and arbitrarily executing dozens of civilians.

Human Rights Watch said Sunday its researchers have documented more than 110 corpses in four locations in Tripoli, many of whom appear to have been killed execution-style either while in detention or with their hands bound.

A metal warehouse in a compound controlled until last week by Libya's elite Khamis Brigade contains about 50 scorched skeletons. A VOA correspondent who visited the structure said another eight bodies lie outside, one with his hands tied behind his back. A survivor said that as rebel forces approached, loyalist soldiers shot their prisoners, then tried to burn the bodies.

Opposition military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Bani said rebels are concerned for the fate of some 40,000 prisoners who were detained by Gadhafi's forces. Bani said Sunday that more than 10,000 detainees have been freed from government jails since Tripoli fell last week.

So far, there have been no specific allegations of atrocities carried out by rebel fighters. But the Associated Press reports it remains unclear who is responsible for some of the killings, including those of dozens of dark-skinned men whose bodies were found in two areas of Tripoli.

A Red Cross ship entered Tripoli harbor Sunday carrying supplies for the city, which saw days of fighting between rebels and Gadhafi supporters last week. A VOA correspondent reported that the capital has widespread shortages of medicine, drinking water and other basic supplies. Many areas are still without electricity.

Libyan rebels earlier gained control of a key border post near Tunisia, and the Reuters news agency reported Sunday that authorities in Tunis had reopened the main Ras Jdir crossing into Libya. Trucks loaded with food and other supplies began to move towards Tripoli, about a 2-hour drive away.

In the west, opposition fighters were still battling for control of Zuwarah. Rebels faced stiff resistance from Gadhafi loyalists during efforts to advance into the city, which is on a major supply route into Tripoli.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid