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Rebels find Gaddafi arms cache in hotel grounds

Rebels find Gaddafi arms cache in hotel grounds
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The evidence of days of fighting in the Libyan capital was clear to see on Friday morning.

Burnt-out cars and bullet casings littered the streets, which were largely deserted. Shops and other businesses remained closed.

Large numbers of casualties have been reported.

The rebels, still exuberant after their sudden sweep into Tripoli, claim they control most of the city and have been manning checkpoints.

One resident said Gaddafi loyalists had “no more strongholds”, but were hiding in flats in residential areas.

Many residents, themselves armed, have been protecting their own properties and neighbourhoods.

The rebels had an unexpected bonanza when they uncovered a large weapons dump in the grounds of a hotel that a few days ago was under the control of Gaddafi supporters.

The Rixos hotel is where dozens of foreign journalists were trapped for several days.

The weapons had been hidden under metal sheets and sand, in woods near the hotel’s entrance.

The rebels jumped at the golden opportunity to rearm, loading the cache onto trucks. But as fighting continued to rage nearby, they were forced into a hasty retreat amid reports of a counter-offensive by Gaddafi’s forces.