Libyan govt forces claim to control half of Sirte

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Libyan govt forces claim to control half of Sirte

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Interim government forces in Libya claim they now control half the city of Sirte, the birthplace of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Commanders say they expect to have total control of the city within 48 hours.

Sirte is one of the last strongholds of Gaddafi.

A Red Cross convoy is preparing to enter the city for the second time to deliver urgent medical aid.

A hospital there is reported to be struggling to cope with the number of wounded after weeks of fighting.

Elsewhere, support for the new Libya is coming from many different quarters.

The American actor Sean Penn has been visiting the leaders of various humanitarian organisations.

“I just admire their courage,” he said. “The courage to say we want freedom. You know, it’s an extraordinary thing, an enormous price has been paid, but I think there is no question that they’ll follow it through.”

Security forces are also busy organising themselves, with recruits of a new Tripoli militia holding a graduation ceremony.

There is concern, however, about rivalry developing between different paramilitary groups.