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Libya's NTC readies new push into Sirte

[ 2011-09-27 11:19]     字号 [] [] []  
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Fighters backing Libya's interim rulers prepared to renew their advance into the coastal city of Sirte on Monday after NATO aircraft bombed targets in Muammar Gadhafi's hometown to sap the resistance of the deposed leader's troops.

Anti-Gadhafi forces had pushed to within a few hundred meters of the center of Sirte, one of the last bastions of pro-Gadhafi resistance in Libya, but drew back on Sunday while NATO aircraft launched their attacks.

Sirte lies between the capital Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi, both now held by the National Transitional Council (NTC), whose fighters toppled Gadhafi last month, six months into a campaign that is not yet over.

Taking Sirte would be a huge boost for the NTC as it tries to establish credibility as a government able to unite Libya's fractious tribes and regions, and a blow for Gadhafi, widely believed to be on the run inside Libya.

Gadhafi loyalists showed they were still a threat by launching an attack on Sunday on the desert oasis town of Ghadames, on the border with Algeria, NTC officials said.

The NTC said on Sunday its followers had found a mass grave containing the bodies of 1,270 people killed by Gadhafi's security forces in a 1996 massacre of prison inmates in southern Tripoli. The mass grave was the first physical evidence found so far of the Abu Salim prison massacre, an event that was covered up for years but created simmering anger that ultimately helped bring about Gadhafi's downfall.

Survivors have told human rights groups that guards lined up inmates in the courtyards of the Abu Salim prison at dawn on June 29, 1996, and security men standing on the prison rooftops shot them down.

The uprising that toppled Gadhafi was ignited by protests linked to the Abu Salim massacre. In February, families of inmates killed there demonstrated in Benghazi to demand the release of their lawyer.


1. Which costal city did fighters renew their advance on?

2. What is the name of the capital of Libya?

3. When did guards shoot prisoners at dawn at Abu Salim?


1. Sirte.

2. Tripoli.

3. June 29, 1996.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Libya's NTC readies new push into Sirte

About the broadcaster:

Libya's NTC readies new push into Sirte

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.