Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Manuel Valls and the 'art of putting one's foot in one's mouth'

Read more

REPORTERS

Why does Catalonia want to leave Spain?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Govt seeks referendum on presidential term limit

Read more

FOCUS

Indian uranium mines take heavy toll on locals and environment

Read more

ENCORE!

Paris rediscovers Picasso

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media response to Ottawa shooting

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Daniele Balice, Co-founder of the gallery Balice Hertling

Read more

FOCUS

Tunisia: Religious education claims bigger role in curriculum

Read more

Africa

Gaddafi forces halt rebel advance on road to Sirte

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-08-24

Libyan rebels advancing on Sirte, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's hometown, have been blocked at the town of Bin Jawad by heavy artillery fire, rebel commanders say.

AFP - Libyan rebels advancing towards Sirte, the hometown of Moamer Kadhafi, were blocked Wednesday in the town of Bin Jawad as loyalists kept a stiff resistance, an insurgent commander said.

After taking Ras Lanuf, 150 kilometres (93 miles) west of Sirte, the rebels had advanced up to Bin Jawad, but were stuck there as they came under heavy artillery, rebel commander Fawzi Bukatif told AFP.

"Kadhafi's forces are still fighting, we are surprised. We thought they would surrender with the fall of Tripoli," Bukatif said in the nearby coastal town of Zuwaytina which also houses an oil exporting port.

"Maybe something or somebody is behind them," he said, adding "maybe" when asked if he was referring to Kadhafi or his sons.

"They built their defence lines on the 'Red Valley' ahead of Sirte. We are starting negotiations but they are blocked," he said without elaborating.

"It seems they will not surrender but we want to save the town and keep it as good as possible. We are trying to get free access to Sirte to establish a security committee there so our forces can guarantee that everything is in order. It is a question of time."

An AFP correspondent traveling with the rebels reported that heavy artillery fire could be heard from Kadhafi forces in Sirte.

Another rebel military spokesman in the rebel bastion of Benghazi said that freeing Sirte was just a "matter of time", adding that insurgents had captured Ras Lanuf.

"The retreat of the forces of the tyrant was possible after violent battles by the revolutionaries which removed the loyalists from Ras Lanuf," Ahmad Omar Bani said at a news conference.

He also said that Tripoli itself was fully liberated, although there were some snipers loyal to Kadhafi deployed.

Bani also said that it was "difficult" to comment on the location of Kadhafi himself.

 

Date created : 2011-08-24

  • LIBYA

    France and allies seek to unlock Libyan assets at UN

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Tripoli celebrates fall of Gaddafi compound

    Read more

  • LIBYA

    Rebels attack Gaddafi compound in Tripoli

    Read more

COMMENT(S)