NTC To Announce Libyan Interim Government

Posted September 23rd, 2011 at 5:40 pm (UTC-5)
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Libya's National Transitional Council says it will announce a framework for the country's interim government within the next few days. NTC spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga announced says the interim government will include 22 ministries and a deputy prime minister.

Meanwhile, NTC fighters launched an assault Friday on Sirte, the hometown of former leader Moammar Gadhafi. They bombarded the Mediterranean coastal town with heavy artillery in a repeated attempt to drive out Gadhafi loyalists.

Provisional authority fighters also remain engaged in fighting in another loyalist bastion in the north – Bani Walid. NTC forces have been facing stiff resistance from armed fighters in both towns.

Also Friday, Mr. Gadhafi's daughter released an audio recording in which she says her father is in high spirits and fighting alongside his supporters.

The message was aired by Syria-based Arrai television. Aisha Gadhafi, accused the country's new leaders of being “traitors” because some of them had been a part of the Gadhafi regime.

Aisha, her mother and two brothers fled to Algeria in August as NTC fighters swept into Tripoli. The whereabouts of the former leader is still unknown.

Earlier in the day, French oil giant Total announced it will restart at a production at an offshore oil platform in Libya this weekend. A company spokesman said its operation in Libya will be back to full production within a few weeks.

On Thursday, NTC forces gained control of a string of desert cities in the country's deep south including the oasis town of Sabha, which had been a Gadhafi stronghold.

The National Transitional Council said it also controls Jufra – northeast of Sabha – and the nearby towns of Sokna, Waddan and Houn.