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Libyan revolutionary forces fighters overrun Sirte port

27 September 2011 11:44

Libyan revolutionary forces have managed to wrest control of the port in Sirte, hometown of the country’s fugitive dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Libyan revolutionaries closed in on Gaddafi loyalists holed up in Sirte, one of the last two bastions of the fugitive ruler, on Monday.

Meanwhile, NATO aircraft launched airstrikes against positions of Gaddafi loyalists in the city to pave the way for the deep push by the National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters, Reuters reported.

Thick black smoke billowed into the air as fighters battled pro-Gaddafi forces on Sunday. Large explosions were heard as NATO aircraft pounded the city.

On the western edges of Sirte on Monday, NTC fighters and Gaddafi loyalists traded heavy machine gun fire, rocket-propelled grenades and artillery rounds. Snipers loyal to Gaddafi could be seen on rooftops.

Sirte lies between the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, both now held by the NTC, whose fighters overran the capital five weeks ago after six months of fighting.

Reports also point to the dire situation of civilians in the besieged town, as scores of people attempt to flee the area.

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