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Libya rebels push towards Gaddafi hometown

Heavy rocket fire exchanges reported on the road to Sirte.

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(Antler)

After having taken most of the capital Tripoli, Libya's rebels are pushing towards Sirte, the hometown of Muammar al-Gaddafi, which has remained under loyalist control.

Breaking News: Libyan rebels say Muammar Gaddafi surrounded

The BBC reported exchanges of rocket fire between rebels and about 1,000 pro-Gaddafi forces on the road to the eastern city.

The rebels are reported to be meeting stiff resistance in the town of Bin Jawad, stifling their advance.

Meanwhile Al Jazeera said it had found evidence of what looked to be “mass executions” by pro-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli.

The network's correspondent said he had sighted 15 men suspected to have been killed around the beginning of the week, as Libyan rebels launched their assault on Tripoli.

We are told these men were political activists who have been arrested over the last few days and weeks and being held near the Gaddafi compound. When the opposition fighters started to enter the compound we are told they were killed.

Everyone I have spoken to who has looked at these injuries, all the medical staff, they say they believe that the injuries they see on the bodies of these men have the hallmark of a mass execution.

Rome on Thursday begun unfreezing 350 million euros of Libyan funds in Italian banks to release the the rebels National Transitional Council.

After meeting with Italian President Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of the rebel council, Mahmoud Jibril, appealed for urgent humanitarian aid.

There have been power and water shortages in Tripoli, with many basic supplies running low. The United Nations is to vote this week on a resolution to release some $1.5 billion of frozen Libyan assets.

(GlobalPost in photos: Libyan rebels storm Gaddafi compound)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/110825/libya-sirte-rebels-gaddafi-jibril-assets