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The final battle for Sirte is over

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The final battle for Sirte is over


The sight and sounds of celebrations filled the air in the coastal town of Sirte since early on Thursday morning.

Libyan interim government fighters drove out the remaining troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and declared victory.

Some fighters symbolically stabbed at a picture of Gaddafi and then began to drag it round the streets.

The town where Gaddafi was born in 1942 had become his and his regime’s grave.

The new national flag was waved and raised on a building in the centre of the town which had been under a bloody siege for two months.

The battle for control had come at an exacting cost with many lives lost.

The backdrop to the mass celebrations were the destroyed buildings wrecked in the shelling and gunfire. Thousands of civilians had fled their home, many were caught in the conflict.

Its not known if any of the troops loyal to Gaddafi escaped or how many have been captured in Sirte.

It was in February the arrest of a human rights activist started a riot in Benghazi. On August 23 Tripoli fell, 3 days ago victory was claimed in Bani Walid.

And so began the final push to gain control in Sirte. The last battle its reported started early on Thursday morning and within ninety minutes eye witnesses claim control of the town was in the hands of the NTC fighters.

The National Transitional Council had always said it was at this point it would declare Libya to be liberated.

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