x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

NTC fighters 'capture' Qaddafi hometown of Sirte

NTC forces have overrun the last positions of Muammar Qaddafi loyalists holding out in the city of Sirte and the revolutionaries now have all of the ousted leader's hometown within their hands.

NTC troops capture a wounded loyalist fighter during battles in Sirte. NTC forces said they finally captured the city today.
NTC troops capture a wounded loyalist fighter during battles in Sirte. NTC forces said they finally captured the city today.

SIRTE, Libya // Libyan fighters have overrun the last positions of Muammar Qaddafi loyalists holding out in the city of Sirte and the revolutionaries now have all of the ousted leader's hometown within their hands.

Witnesses said the final push to capture the remaining pro-Qaddafi positions began around 8am today and was over after about 90 minutes. Just before the assault, about five carloads of loyalists tried to flee the enclave down the coastal motorway but were killed by revolutionaries.

NTC forces began searching homes and buildings looking for any Qaddafi fighters who may be hiding there.

"Sirte has been liberated. There are no Qaddafi forces any more," Colonel Yunus Al Abdali, the head of operations in the eastern half of the city told Reuters. "We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away."

Another front line commander confirmed the capture of the city, which was the last remaining significant bastion of pro-Qaddafi fighters almost three months after the ex-leader was overthrown by rebels.