WINZRIK, Libya, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- More than 20 rebel fighters were killed in Sirte, one of the remaining strongholds of ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, a rebel spokesman said Monday.
National Transitional Council spokesman Adel Ghulaek said another 31 fighters suffered injuries when Gadhafi loyalists hiding in parts of the northern town where many civilians are located fired rocket-propelled grenades Sunday, CNN reported.
"Our men are not even firing back because they do not want to kill any innocent people," Ghulaek said.
He said two helicopters evacuated injured rebel fighters Sunday night.
Residents of the southern Libyan town of Winzrik celebrated as anti-Gadhafi forces drove through the town.
"Raise your head high, you're a free Libyan!" the residents chanted.
"I can't explain -- the feeling is wonderful," Muhannad Zarouq said. "Many emotions -- I'm so happy. I'm so glad."
Civilians fighting Gadhafi loyalists encountered little resistance Sunday in Sabha, which had been a stronghold for Gadhafi supporters, CNN said.
Abdallah Kenshil, an NTC spokesman, said revolutionaries had control of 80 percent of the northern city of Bani Walid but mountains were an obstacle and Gadhafi loyalists were firing from mosques and homes of civilians.
Some of the pro-Gadhafi fighters are mercenaries from other African countries, Kenshil said.
CNN said Gadhafi's whereabouts remained unknown but Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for the ousted leader, said his supporters would emerge victorious.
"We will defeat them in a way they never would have imagined," he said on Al Rai TV, a Syrian-based station that airs pro-Gadhafi statements. "We have God and we have millions [of followers]. ... We have decided it's either victory or martyrdom."