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Heaviest fighting for days in Libya

Heaviest fighting for days in Libya
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The battle for Libya is not over yet, with the heaviest combat for days between anti-Gaddafi forces and supporters of the fugitive Colonel.

Loyalists in his two main bastions, Sirte and Bani Walid, unleashed barrages of rockets in a counter-attack as the former rebels closed in.

Anti-Gaddafi fighters are still confident of victory, having taken Tripoli from the veteran ex-leader. And, with a deadline for the surrender of the towns due to expire within hours, they have received new deliveries of arms, ammunition and manpower.

A peaceful handover seems increasingly unlikely.

Anti-Gaddafi combatant Ziane Ben Zaid urged a TV cameraman to film the fresh fighting material. “On Saturday we will enter Bani Walid, God willing,” he said.

Pointing to the ammunition, fellow fighter Jumaa Frewan described it as “medicine” for Gaddafi. “Nothing else has worked, no negotiations worked or anything else, just ammunition,” he said.

Previous deadlines have been extended to allow more time for talks. But Libya’s new rulers are keen to put a swift end to the stalemate, with resistance from Gaddafi loyalists obstructing their efforts to stabilise the country.

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