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Posted Sep 18, 2011, 10:20 am
Libya's interim government forces attacking Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte made slow progress overnight into Sunday, meeting heavy resistance from loyalist forces.
There was also a fierce counter-attack by loyalist forces in the Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, preventing the National Transitional Council (NTC), from asserting full control over Libya.
The BBC reported that NTC fighters had advanced to within 4.3 miles of the center of Sirte on Saturday, when another eight fighters were killed. This brings the total to almost 30.
The network described the fighting as “a process of slow advances as defensive positions are bombarded, worn down and then taken."
Despite the fierce resistance being met in the two towns, NTC military spokesman Ahmed Bani said it would only be a question of days before they are captured.
According to Al Jazeera, Gaddafi loyalists Saturday were given a final opportunity to join the NTC fighters:
The soldiers and officers who will not heed this last call will be accused of high treason.
Gaddafi has been in hiding since August, when opposition forces captured the capital Tripoli.