The last battle for Libya could be underway with Muammar Gaddafi’s two main bastions the focus of intense fighting.
Heavy combat was reported near his hometown of Sirte and ex-rebels said they had entered Bani Walid where street clashes were taking place.
Libya’s interim rulers had set a Saturday deadline for the towns to surrender. But fighters surrounding Bani Walid said they went in early, on Friday, to protect civilians after negotiations with Gaddafi supporters failed.
His opponents hope that by taking the towns, other loyalist holdouts will capitulate, sparing further bloodshed and helping them stabilise the country.