In Libya the battle continues for Sirte, the last and crucial outpost of fighters loyal to ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi. Predictions of a quick victory for the National Transitional Council have been continually frustrated.
Last weekend it was said to be about to fall, but Gaddafi snipers have dug in.
Plans to start rebuilding the North African state are still on hold and will be until Gaddafi’s birthplace is in the hands of the government. One fighter says a final assault will take place on Friday.
“The clashes and exchange of fire today, Thursday are a prelude. God willing tomorrow, after Friday prayers, we are going to be launching a collective ground assault on Sirte and God willing we will be victors,” he said.
Gaddafi loyalists pulled back to Sirte when they lost control of other cities. Now they have nowhere else to go. And from somewhere their leader sent a message to hang on.
Gaddafi was heard on a poor quality audio message on Arrai TV in Libya. It is unclear when or where it was recorded. He called on the people to rise up and take to the streets.