September 17, 2011 |
Forces loyal to ousted Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi put up fierce resistance Friday on two fronts, fending off revolutionary fighters trying to take a pair of holdout cities that have defied the nation's new transitional government. Anti-Kadafi fighters launched major attacks on Surt, the coastal town where Kadafi was born, and Bani Walid, a desert city that benefited from the longtime leader's financial largesse. But in both cases the attackers' predictions of quick and decisive victories proved wrong.
September 9, 2011 |
Rebels advanced Friday into Bani Walid, one of the final strongholds in Libya of fallen strongman Moammar Kadafi's rule, according to reports from the area. Fighters who had been preparing an assault for weeks moved into the pro-Kadafi bastion about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli from the north and east, said Abdullah Kanshil, a representative of Libya's transitional ruling council, who spoke to journalists outside the town. The invading fighters met sniper fire, Kanshil said, and street fighting was reported.
March 23, 2011 |
The gift for his family's loyalty, service and sacrifice was an AK-47 assault rifle. Seventeen-year-old Abubakr Issa brandished the weapon with pride in the courtyard of his family's home in Bani Walid, a small tribal town about 100 miles southeast of Tripoli, the capital. Three days earlier his 37-year-old brother Fatih, a career infantryman in the Libyan armed forces, had died during an airstrike near Benghazi. "I was happy to learn my brother died because he is now a martyr," the young man said Wednesday as a multinational coalition's aircraft and missiles pounded Libyan military targets for a fifth day. "I also want to go to the front.
September 25, 2011 |
Forces of Libya's provisional government launched a renewed assault Saturday on Moammar Kadafi's hometown, meeting fierce sniper, mortar and rocket fire from the bastion of support for the ousted leader. Attackers reached a key intersection near the center of the coastal city of Surt by sunset, but were slowed by resistance from pro-Kadafi forces, reported the pan-Arab satellite network Al Jazeera. Television video showed tanks firing and explosions going off in the city as fighters crouched behind vehicles and buildings for cover along the streets of Surt, which has been under siege for more than a week.
September 18, 2011 |
Heavy fighting was reported Saturday in the battle for Moammar Kadafi's hometown, while a military spokesman for Libya's new government conceded that it has no idea where the former leader is hiding. Fighters allied with the new government pushed farther into Surt, along Libya's central Mediterranean coast, but again met stiff resistance from well-armed loyalists ensconced in the pro-Kadafi bastion. The military command in nearby Misurata said that at least 24 of its fighters had been killed in Surt and at least 54 wounded, with many injured by loyalist mortar rounds or Grad missiles.
September 21, 2011 |
Leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization authorized a 90-day extension of the alliance's aerial mission over Libya on Wednesday, raising the prospect that U.S. and allied troops could be involved in the North African nation until Christmas. But NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen emphasized that the alliance could call home its forces "at any time" if international authorities and the new Libyan government determine that NATO's help is no longer necessary. "This decision sends a clear message to the Libyan people: We will be there for as long as necessary but not a day longer, while you take your future in your hands to ensure a safe transition to the new Libya," Rasmussen said.