Fall of Gadhafi stronghold said imminent

Oct. 9, 2011 at 7:43 PM

SIRTE, Libya, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Forces of the National Transitional Council in Libya said they were poised to take control of Sirte, one of the last strongholds for Moammar Gadhafi loyalists.

Fighting overnight between the country's new leaders and loyalists in Gadhafi's hometown resulted in about 10 deaths and more than 100 injuries, CNN reported Sunday.

"Our fighters took over Sirte University last night and all the residential buildings around it, including the student dormitories," NTC Cmdr. Al-Zubair al-Kadi told CNN. A convention center and a hospital holding civilians and NTC fighters was now also under NTC control, he said.

Remaining loyalists were pushed into a pocket of residential districts estimated to be 3,000 yards wide and 1,000 yards deep along the Sirte seafront, Britain's Daily Telegraph reported.

A final drive into these areas was being held back to allow civilians to leave, NTC officials said.

They told CNN they expect to have full control of Sirte within a matter of days.

There is no timetable for NATO support to end, British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said in Libya Saturday. He said international military action would continue as long as a pro-Gadhafi threat exists, the BBC reported Sunday.

"We have a message for those who are still fighting for Gadhafi that the game is over, you have been rejected by the people of Libya," he said.

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