BANI WALID, Libya, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Gunfire and explosions were heard around Bani Walid as Libyan rebel forces moved in on one of the remaining strongholds for fallen leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The rebels' National Transitional Council warned Bani Walid residents to leave by Thursday before the assault on the city about 85 miles southeast of the capital of Tripoli.
Fighters also moved into the outskirts of Sirte, Gadhafi's birthplace, but were pushed back after sustaining casualties Thursday, the BBC reported.
NTC fighters have faced resistance in the few cities that remain loyal to Gadhafi, including Bani Walid, Sirte and Sabha.
British planes armed with Brimstone missiles supported the NTC, The Daily Telegraph reported. A spokesman for the British military said for the first time the RAF used a salvo of Brimstones fired at a large concentration of armored vehicles belonging to the Gadhafi forces.
Soldiers from the British special forces and officers with the U.S. and British intelligence agencies, CIA and MI6, were assisting NTC fighters in the remaining Gadhafi strongholds.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tripoli Friday.
His visit came a day after crowds in Tripoli and Benghazi hailed British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the first foreign leaders to visit Libya since Gadhafi was ousted.