Libya's NTC vows to capture Gadhafi hometown soon

Updated: 2011-09-19 10:01


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Libya's NTC vows to capture Gadhafi hometown soon
Anti-Gaddafi fighters with an injured comrade travel in a vehicle during heavy shelling by Gaddafi loyalists near Herawa, 52 km (32 miles) east of Sirte, Sept 18, 2011. [Photo/Agencies] 

TRIPOLI - Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) said Sunday its forces will soon capture Sirte as it expects ground situation in the Muammar Gadhafi hometown to be settled within 3-4 days.

NTC fighters have seized southern Sirte plus coastal roads north of the town, and most of them now gathered at the city's airport and an air force base nearby, the council's military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Omar Bani told reporters.

Fighting continued in east and west of Sirte and on downtown streets, but ground situation there will be settled in about 3-4 days and remanent pro-Gadhafi forces will be wiped out, he said.

Bani also said they are revising plans to take Bani Walid, another remaining Gadhafi bastion southeast of Tripoli, so as to ensure the safety of the NTC fighters and the civilians there.

After a failed offensive, NTC fighters had to retreat and gather near the town's northern entry after they were pushed back by Gadhafi forces who installed snipers and long-range missiles, he said.

Despite suffering setbacks in its efforts to capture Sirte and Bani Walid in past a few days, the NTC said Saturday it would take control of the whole country very soon. Previously, a Gadhafi spokesman said Sirte would never fall.