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Qadhafi Forces Still Fighting in Sirte and Bani Walid, as New Revolution Government Announced


Qaddafi will fight till the end, says ex-PM


Arab News, Oct 4, 2011 23:02


Muammar Qaddafi’s former prime minister said on Tuesday he believed the deposed leader was still in Libya and would carry on fighting the country’s new leaders until the end.

“I think Qaddafi ... has not left the country. I strongly believe, based on my knowledge of him, that he is fighting with his weapons and alongside his men,” Al-Baghdadi Ali Al-Mahmoudi, who is in prison in neighboring Tunisia, said in comments passed by his lawyer. “He will not give up and he will not lay down his weapons until the end,” he said.

The former prime minister is in prison while the Tunisian authorities consider a request from Libya’s National Transitional Council for his extradition.

“I am ready to cooperate with the transitional council but on condition that they drop all requests for extradition and the negative campaigns against me,” he said. “I hope to be a part of the solution in Libya and not part of the problem.”

Meanwhile, Seif Al-Islam, the best-known son of Qaddafi, is leading the final stand of loyalists in Bani Walid against NTC forces, a commander with the new regime said Tuesday.

The town some 170 km southeast of Tripoli and Qaddafi’s coastal hometown of Sirte on the coast to the northeast are the two final strongholds resisting assault by National Transitional Council forces. “We captured a general from the pro-Qaddafi brigades, and he said Seif Al-Islam is in Bani Walid and directing military operations there,” an NTC commander, Adel Benyur, told journalists.

The country’s new rulers have been trying for weeks to take Sirte and Bani Walid, where NTC fighters have been unable to progress further than the outskirts of the vast desert oasis despite nearly a month of combat.

However, an offensive on Bani Walid is imminent, Benyur said. “Most of the town’s inhabitants have left, and that will make it easier for us to attack in the next two days,” he said.

Libya’s de facto Prime Minister, Mahmoud Jibril, told a television channel on Tuesday he would not stay office after the interim government’s forces take control of whole country.

“I will not stay in any official post after the liberation,” Jibril told the Arabic-language satellite channel Al Arabiya.

Civilians flee humanitarian crisis in embattled Sirte

By FRANCE 24 (video) News Wires (text)

02/10/2011, AFP -

Hundreds of Libyan civilians fled the besieged city of Sirte in packed vehicles as the battle for control of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown continued on Sunday. The Red Cross has warned that the city is facing a dangerous lack of medical supplies.

Streams of civilians fled Mu'ammar Al-Qadhafi's besieged home town of Sirte as battles raged Sunday for control of the fugitive strongman's bastion where the Red Cross has warned of a medical emergency.

An AFP reporter at a mosque field hospital west of the city said hundreds of Sirte residents were fleeing in packed vehicles, with some people sitting on top of possessions piled high in the rear of pick-ups.

"There are so many rockets now. Yesterday there were a lot of attacks. We just could not stay any longer," Ali Faraj said as a National Transitional Council fighter checked his identity and those of women and children crammed in his car.

A Red Cross team, which delivered desperately needed supplies to medics in the besieged coastal city on Saturday, said the hospital had come under rocket fire as new regime forces stepped up their assault on Qadhafi diehards.

A large force of NTC fighters pushed in from the south to lay siege to the Ouagadougou Conference Centre, a showpiece venue close to the Ibn Sina hospital and where Kadhafi hosted the launch of the African Union.

LIBYA Who's who in Libya's National Transitional Council

Intense exchanges raged for at least two hours despite pleas from the Red Crescent for a lull while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team made its delivery on Saturday, NTC fighters said.

"It's a dire situation," ICRC team leader Hisham Khadhraoui told AFP.

Staff at the Ibn Sina hospital told the team that "because of lack of oxygen and fuel for the generator, people are dying."

"Several rockets landed within the hospital buildings while we were there. We saw a lot of indiscriminate fire. I don't know where it was coming from," Khadhraoui added.

After the ICRC team went in, NTC fighters launched a ferocious attack with rockets, anti-tank cannons and machinegun fire from a position less than a kilometre (half a mile) from the hospital.

Qadhafi loyalists responded with mortar and sniper fire.

US Senator John McCain on Sunday called for Washington to send urgent medical aid to help the thousands of people wounded in Libya.

"They've got thousands and thousands of wounded. They say that they've lost 25,000 people killed, 3,000 have been maimed, 60,000 injured. That's their government figures," McCain told CBS television's "Face the Nation" programme.

"We should be helping them," said the influential US lawmaker.

On Sunday, after a morning lull, NTC forces opened up on Qadhafi positions in the centre of Sirte from the northeast using heavy weapons including tanks, an AFP correspondent reported.

There was steady shelling from NTC forces on the eastern front line, with four tanks seen targeting the city for at least two hours. NTC positions in the area were also facing regular incoming rocket attacks from pro-Qadhafi forces.

Thick smoke was billowing over the skies of the eastern front as the two sides hit each other.

"Qadhafiforces are firing Grad rockets at us and they have also deployed snipers. We are responding by shelling their positions with tanks and firing using machineguns," said Radi Laguri from the Omar Mukhtar Tanks brigade deployed at the eastern front line.

Wanis Abidi, a doctor at an NTC field hospital near the front line, said 15 wounded fighters were brought in Sunday.

"Four fighters were also killed in friendly fire. Two groups of fighters fired at each other mistakenly because of lack of communication," Abidi told AFP, speaking in English.

An AFP correspondent also witnessed NATO air strikes on the city.

The alliance said its planes on Saturday hit a command and control node, an infantry and anti-aircraft artillery staging area, two armed vehicles, four armoured infantry vehicles and a tank in and around Sirte.

Hundreds of vehicles also streamed out of Sirte on the eastern front during the lull early on Sunday.

One man leaving with his family who gave his name only as Muftah said: "The situation is absolutely pathetic, especially in the hospitals. We have no oxygen, no medicines. Wounded people die even before reaching the hospital."

The ICRC had been trying for weeks to enter Sirte, which has been under siege by NTC forces since the middle of last month.

Khadhraoui's team on Saturday included a doctor, a first aid medic and a logistician, he said. It delivered about 150 body bags and 300 "war wounded kits" consisting of drips, drugs, gauze and other medical equipment.

On the southern outskirts of Sirte, smoke was seen rising on Sunday from the village of Abu Hadi where Kadhafi was born, an AFP correspondent said, as NTC fighters said NATO air strikes were hitting the area.

"There are a few Qadhafi fighters still in there. NATO asked us to pull back" so they could launch air strikes, said fighter Masoud Jema.

LIBYA Red Cross says situation 'dire' in besieged city of Sirte

LIBYA Libyan forces push into Gaddafi hometown of Sirte

LIBYA NATO jets bombard Gaddafi hometown of Sirte

Libya's new rulers announce cabinet shakeup

By FRANCE 24 (video) News Wires (text)

October 3, 2011, AFP -

National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdel Jalil (pictured) announced a minor administrative shakeup on Monday, including the creation of a ministerial post to handle issues affecting the victims of Libya's ongoing civil war.

Libya's new rulers Monday announced a minor shakeup of their executive, pending the formation of an interim government once the entire country is freed from Mu'ammar Qadhafi's forces.

LIBYA Who's who in Libya's National Transitional Council

The changes see the scrapping of the post of deputy head of the executive plus the creation of a post of minister of martyrs and victims of the war, said Mustafa Abdel Jalil, who heads the ruling National Transitional Council (NTC).

The current head of the executive, Mahmud Jibril, retains his position as well as the post of foreign minister, Abdel Jalil told a news conference.

Other key posts are retained, including finance and oil, information and defence, he added.

"We appeal to the Libyan people to be patient because the hour of liberation is near," Abdel Jalil said.

The NTC, which has been ruling Libya since Kadhafi was toppled in a revolt last month, has postponed the formation of a transitional government until the last bastions of support for the strongman are overrun.

LIBYA NTC postpones forming government amid clashes

LIBYA NTC forces claim Gaddafi stronghold in Sahara desert

LIBYA UN gives Libya seat to National Transitional Council

Civilians flee humanitarian crisis in embattled Sirte

Hundreds of Libyan civilians fled the besieged city of Sirte in packed vehicles as the battle for control of Muammar Gaddafi's hometown continued on Sunday. The Red Cross has warned that the city is facing a dangerous lack of medical supplies.

By FRANCE 24 (video)
News Wires (text)


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