News / Africa

Libya's NTC Forces Storm Bani Walid, Sirte

A former rebel fighter looks through binoculars as he stands in a convoy of revolutionary forces, moments before heading to the frontline in Bani Walid, at a checkpoint in Wadi Dinar, Libya,  September 16, 2011.
A former rebel fighter looks through binoculars as he stands in a convoy of revolutionary forces, moments before heading to the frontline in Bani Walid, at a checkpoint in Wadi Dinar, Libya, September 16, 2011.

Forces of Libya's interim government are fighting their way through former leader Moammar Gadhafi's remaining strongholds as more world leaders express support for the country's interim government.

Transitional government forces stormed the desert town of Bani Walid early Friday, engaging in heavy fire with Gadhafi loyalists. Reports say interim government forces were retreating from the city center due to intense sniper fire.

The National Transitional Council fighters also faced fierce resistance from Gadhafi loyalists in the former leader's hometown, Sirte. Witnesses said NATO planes flew over Sirte as rapid gunfire and the explosion of heavy rockets filled the coastal Mediterranean town with smoke.

As revolutionary forces fight to push Gadhafi loyalists out of the few remaining strongholds, the whereabouts of the former leader remains unknown.

Meanwhile, the government of Niger announced Friday it will keep Gadhafi's son, Saadi, in custody and will not return him to Libya. Several Gadhafi associates and family members have escaped to neighboring countries in recent weeks.

NTC acquires UN seat

Meanwhile, the United Nations voted to turn over Libya's seat in the General Assembly to the country's National Transitional Council. The resolution was approved by a vote of 114 in favor, 17 against, with 15 abstentions, which gives the NTC the opportunity to choose an ambassador before next week's UNGA meeting.

VOA's U.N. correspondent Margaret Besheer reports several diplomats say the country's U.N. ambassador, Mohamed Shalgham, will remain in the post. Ambassador Shalgham publicly defected during a Security Council meeting earlier this year.

Turkish PM arrives in Tripoli

Another boost of support for Libya's fledgling government came Friday during a visit by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Jubilant Libyans and a NTC leader, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, welcomed Erdogan to the capital. He told the cheering crowds they are inspiration to others living in oppressive regimes. The Turkish leader will also travel to Benghazi as he wraps up a tour of Arab capitals.

The White House announced Friday that U.S. President Barack Obama will show his support for the NTC by meeting with Jalil next week on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York. A White House spokesman said the two will discuss the NTC's plans for a post-Gadhafi transition.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the U.S. is expanding efforts to help the NTC pinpoint Gadhafi's vast arsenal of weapons. But State Department spokesman Mark Toner would not confirm whether additional weapons experts were being sent to Libya.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy leaders reached out to the Libyan transitional government on Thursday during a visit to Tripoli and Benghazi.  The European visitors said they would introduce a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council Friday to establish a U.N. mission in Libya and remove an international "freeze" on Libyan assets.

The resolution also would abolish the international arms embargo against Libya and lift a "no-fly zone" on civilian air travel in the Mediterranean nation.

'Give Up' encourages Cameron

Prime Minister Cameron and President Sarkozy said they will help Libya's new government track down Gadhafi and extend its authority throughout the country, and they promised NATO's military support for Libya will continue as long as it is needed.

Cameron called on the fugitive leader and his followers to surrender.

You May Like

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. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing 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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
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 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