Gunbattles and Explosions Rock Libya’s Capital

Posted October 14th, 2011 at 12:15 pm (UTC-5)
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find surface-to-air missiles that went missing during clashes with Mr. Gadhafi's forces. Officials say the weapons pose a security risk.

In another development, provisional government fighters are regrouping in a final attempt to gain control of Mr. Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, one of the few remaining strongholds for his supporters.

The NTC fighters said Friday that pro-Gadhafi forces are cornered in an area of about two square kilometers.

Earlier in the week, the fighters made significant advances in Sirte. They seized the town's police headquarters, gained control of the main hospital and the convention center that Gadhafi loyalists had used as their main base of operation.

NTC officials have said the capture of Sirte will allow them to declare the country liberated, because it will mean the provisional government controls all of Libya's ports and harbors.

Sirte is 360 kilometers east of Libya's capital, Tripoli, and has served as a center of support for Mr. Gadhafi. Provisional government forces have been trying to take the town for three weeks.