Libyan rebels turn towards Gaddafi's home city

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Libyan rebels turn towards Gaddafi's home city

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Libyan rebels are amassing on the road to Sirte, Muammar Gaddafi’s home city and one of his last bastions of support.

Gaddafi was born nearby and rebels are hoping to deliver a strategic and symbolic coup de grace by taking the city.

Rebel commanders have sent text messages to fighters urging them not to abuse pro-Gaddafi soldiers. Leaders are keen to preserve their image abroad after reports that government troops had been found dead with hands tied behind their backs.

Rebels are awaiting reinforcements from Tripoli before they press ahead. Gaddafi loyalists are reported to be advancing from Bin Jawwad to the east.

The fact that Gaddafi has not been found has done little to dampen the celebrations in Tripoli.

Libya: timeline of the conflict

Some believe he might be in Sirte among his loyalists, others believe he is still in the capital. Wherever he is, he is not in power any more.

The National Transition Council now has to organise security and basic services like reliable fresh water and electricity supplies. Otherwise the euphoria might be short lived.