6 years ago5 views
Taking aim at Sirte.
Libyan government forces continue to keep the pressure on Sirte, the hometown of former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Taking Sirte is of huge symbolic importance to Libya's new rulers. It still holds the largest group of pro-Gaddafi resistance, and its capture would allow the interim government to launch the process of democratic elections.
The clock is ticking
SOUNDBITE: Commander of the Free Libya Brigade Mohammad Ramadan Abul Kassem, saying: (Arabic):
"God willing, we will be entering on Friday. God willing, after prayers, you will watch us entering the city of Sirte and we will liberate it from those who are endangering our future state."
The battle for the city has come at a high cost for civilians. Many are trapped by the fighting with dwindling supplies of food and water and no proper medical facilities to threat the wounded.
The heavy artillery and rocket fire from Gaddafi loyalists that had kept National Transitional Council fighters pinned on the outskirts of the city. It has now subsided allowing NTC forces to move in.
The NTC -- anxious not to be seen using the same violent tactics that Gaddafi employed against rebel strongholds-- says it delayed its final push into Sirte until all the civilians who wanted to leave were out.
There were few civilians on the road Wednesday.
Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters