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Friday, August 26, 2011

Gadhafi Surrounded In Tripoli Claims Minister! Countdown To His Capture & Trial! Loyalists Too!

Libyan Minister: Gaddafi Surrounded

A minister in Libya's National Transitional Council said on Friday rebel forces were surrounding an area of Tripoli where Muammar Gaddafi and his entourage were hiding and were monitoring their presence before attempting to capture them.

"The area where he is now is under siege," Justice Minister Mohammed al-Alagi told Reuters. "The rebels are monitoring the area and they are dealing with it."

Alagi, a lawyer who said he had come to Tripoli to establish the new "legal authority" declined to specify where Gaddafi was.

Other rebel officials have said they believe the fallen strongman has taken refuge in the Abu Salim area in the south of the capital -- an area that saw clashes in recent days.
Rebel fighters have said earlier this week that they thought they had Gaddafi cornered but these reports have turned out to be inaccurate, or at least premature.

Rebels in Libya work to rub out loyalist pockets

Opposition and NATO forces took aim at the Gadhafi regime in Tripoli and Sirte on Friday as rebels worked to consolidate their power across strife-torn Libya.

British warplanes pounded a "large headquarters bunker" overnight in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, the UK Defence Ministry said on Friday. Tornado aircraft fired a salvo of precision-guided missiles into the city, east of Tripoli on the central coast.

The opposition says its forces made late gains on Thursday as it closed in on Sirte, and clashes flared on Friday in that region, considered by fighters as a hot war zone.

Tornado aircraft destroyed one of Gadhafi's "few remaining long range surface to air missile systems, near Al Watiyah, close to the Tunisian border on Thursday, the ministry said.

The ministry said Tornados and Typhoons destroyed a loyalist-held command and control site in the Tripoli area, also on Thursday. Britain is part of NATO's mission to enforce a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the protection of Libyan people against Gadhafi regime forces.

As for the airport, rebels said they controlled the facility, but were struggling to secure an area east of it controlled by Gadhafi loyalists.

They claim Gadhafi loyalists have been indiscriminately shelling the airport from a civilian village east of the facility in an effort to repel the advance of rebel forces. Rebels say they are cautious in their response to the incoming fire because of the civilian casualties.

One aircraft burned as loyalists resumed mortar and Grad rocket shelling of the airport, according to a CNN team that witnessed the attack.

This comes amid world concerns over revenge killings by rebels and loyalists.

Amnesty International has gathered accounts from survivors of abuse in Zawiya by pro-Gadhafi soldiers and rebel forces. It also issued a report on Friday about the killings of detainees in Tripoli by Gadhafi loyalists.

Evidence emerged of executions in the battle for Tripoli.

A dozen bodies, with their hands bound behind them, were discovered near Gadhafi's compound in Tripoli where fierce fighting erupted Thursday.

Rebels at the scene told CNN they had been executed by Gadhafi's men, but it was not immediately clear. The victims were black Africans, who composed a large part of Gadhafi's army.

The discovery of the bodies came a day after a doctor at a Tripoli hospital told CNN that he had examined a number of dead rebels who appeared to have been executed with a bullet to the head.

On the political front, the opposition National Transitional Council has announced it is moving its political base to Tripoli from its strong in Benghazi in eastern Libya.

Libya's rebel leadership on Friday pleaded urgently with the United States and other countries to unfreeze billions of dollars, saying the funds are vital to establish peace and stability in the nation.

"Our friends throughout the world are talking about the procedures needed to bring back peace and stability," Mahmoud Jibril, a senior NTC leader, told reporters at an international conference in Turkey. But we cannot do that unless we can fulfill our duties."

His call for funds came a day after the U.N. Security Council's sanctions committee approved a U.S. request to free up $1.5 billion of the at least $100 billion in Libyan assets frozen at the start of the war.

The National Transitional Council has been recognized by nations and alliances across the globe. The Peace and Security Council of the African Union failed to do so at a Friday meeting.

Neverthless, the council issued a communique that urged the "formation of an inclusive transitional government."

It called for the "establishment of a constitutional and legislative framework for the democratic transformation of Libya, as well as for support towards the organization of elections and the national reconciliation process."

It encouraged "the Libyan stakeholders to accelerate the process leading to the formation of an all-inclusive transitional government that would be welcome to occupy the seat of Libya in the AU, which represents countries across Africa.

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Sources: Al Jazeera News, CNN, Daily Beast, PBS News, Youtube, Google Maps

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