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Libyan Insurgents Push toward Gaddafi Hometown as Reward Offered


Libyan rebels pressed toward Muammar Gaddafi’s coastal hometown of Sirte as his opponents offered a $1.6 million bounty on the ruler’s head.

Opposition sources say one of their key targets now is Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from Tripoli, but acknowledged that capturing that city would not be easy because Gaddafi’s fellow tribesmen were expected to put up a fierce fight.

A group of Libyan businessmen offered the $1.6 million reward for Gaddafi’s capture, with the rebel council offering an amnesty to any Gaddafi follower who kills or captures him. The Libyan rule´s whereabouts remain unknown until today.
Meanwhile, Gaddafi troops were still battling opposition forces on the streets of Tripoli Thursday, and the sound of shelling could be heard in several areas of the city.

An intense gunbattle erupted outside the Corinthia hotel where many foreign journalists are staying, as about a dozen rebels with machine guns and an anti-aircraft gun fired on what appeared to be Gaddafi’s forces shooting from nearby high-rise buildings.

Furthermore, Fawzi Abu Ketf, deputy defense minister of the rebel National Transitional Council, said fighting was raging Thursday outside Bin Jawad, 400 miles (650 kilometers) south of Tripoli, but he had no details. Gaddafi loyalists ambushed rebels advancing toward the city on Wednesday, killing at least 20 of them.

The ambush showed that pro-government forces retain the ability to strike back even as the rebels tighten their control over the nation’s capital.

(By Radio Havana Cuba)