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WORLD
September 16, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Fighting continued in Moammar Kadafi's hometown of Sirte on Friday, with 13 anti-Kadafi troops reported killed and at least 25 wounded. A government spokesman said anti-Kadafi forces were advancing inside the city on several fronts but were meeting heavy resistance. Meanwhile, forces loyal to the provisional government were streaming toward another pro-Kadafi bastion, Bani Walid, 95 miles southeast of Tripoli, the capital. Heavy fighting was reported inside the city, which has been under siege for a week.
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WORLD
September 13, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Gunmen loyal to Moammar Kadafi pulled off a daring attack Monday at a major oil refinery inside what was supposedly rebel-held territory in eastern Libya, killing 17 guards. The strike at the facility near Ras Lanuf, on the Mediterranean coast, underscored warnings from Libya's transitional rulers that the nation remains insecure as long as Kadafi is free and publicly urging his followers to carry out a guerrilla war. "We can't be complacent: We must always be vigilant," said Jalal Gallal, a spokesman for the rebel-led transitional administration, whose forces recently drove Libya's longtime ruler from the capital, Tripoli.
WORLD
September 13, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
A struggle between secular politicians and Islamists seeking to define the character of the new Libya burst into the open Tuesday, highlighting the challenge authorities face with reconciling demands repressed for decades by Moammar Kadafi that are now suddenly coming to the surface. Even as the Transitional National Council tries to establish itself in the capital, restore Libya's oil industry and public order, and crush remaining pockets of support for Kadafi, Islamists have focused their ire on Mahmoud Jibril, a U.S.-educated political scientist who is serving as de facto prime minister.
WORLD
September 11, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
As Moammar Kadafi's four decades in power spiraled to an end, loyalists who feared a ruinous finale secretly pushed for last-minute reforms that included Kadafi relinquishing power, withdrawing troops from contested cities and cutting a deal with rebel leaders. But any serious effort to compromise ran head-on into Kadafi's stubbornness, his apparent failure to recognize the imminent peril and the desire of his son, Seif Islam, to inherit his father's position, according to one prominent insider.
WORLD
September 10, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Rebel fighters sped back on forth on gun trucks and comrades squeezed off celebratory rounds, even as incoming fire, possibly rockets or mortar rounds, was falling nearby, blowing up patches of sand. Smoke billowed from the direction of Bani Walid. The chaotic scene was jarringly reminiscent of the disorderly fighting in the country's east in March and April, when enthusiastic rebels raced forward on pickups mounted with rocket launchers and antiaircraft guns, only to hasten back to their lines in the face of fire from Moammar Kadafi's forces.
WORLD
September 9, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
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.
WORLD
September 4, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Rebel forces were closing in Sunday on a strategic town still loyal to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi amid reports that negotiations for the town's surrender had broken down. Abdullah Kanshil, a rebel negotiator, told reporters Sunday that talks meant to craft a nonviolent surrender of the desert town of Bani Walid had failed. He said the next step was in the hands of field commanders. The focus in the six-month civil war has shifted to Bani Walid, a Kadafi stronghold about 90 miles southeast of Tripoli, the capital.
WORLD
September 2, 2011 | By Devorah Lauter and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
World leaders and delegations from more than 60 nations gathered Thursday in Paris to build international support for Libya's transition to democracy after the fall of Moammar Kadafi. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who hosted the event at the Elysee Palace, praised the progress made by the gathering, which included Germany, Algeria, Russia and China, countries that did not support North Atlantic Treaty Organization airstrikes that proved crucial to the anti-Kadafi insurgency Russia recognized the legitimacy of the Libyan rebel leadership earlier in the day. Photos: The Libyan conflict "We want this to be the beginning of a policy that puts military force at the service of protecting populations who risk being martyred" by their own leaders, Sarkozy said.
WORLD
August 31, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Revolutionary voyeurism was booming Tuesday in Moammar Kadafi's former home and headquarters, where euphoric visitors honking horns and firing Kalashnikov rounds seemed unanimous on one point: The man who ran Libya for more than four decades must be captured or killed. "We need to cut off the head of the snake," said Ahmed Digin, a rebel standing guard at the sprawling Bab Azizia compound, now open to a public delirious with the unexpectedly rapid fall of Libya's long-feared leader.
WORLD
March 23, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
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.
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