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Libya: Sirte liberated by anti-Gaddafi forces

Sirte, the last remaining stronghold of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has fallen to forces loyal to the National Transitional Council.

Libya rebels 2011 3 6Enlarge
Rebel fighters push onward in the strategic oil town of Ras Lanuf in Libya on March 5, 2011. (Nichole Sobecki/GlobalPost)

Deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been killed in Sirte — after fighters took the city Thursday — a senior National Transitional Council (NTC) leaders has claimed.

Earlier, Jamal abu-Shaalah, a field commander of NTC, told Al Jazeera that the toppled leader had been seized — while Reuters reported that Gaddafi was captured and wounded in both legs. — but it was not clear whether he was dead or alive.

Al Jazeera reported that NTC fighters had declared Thursday that Sirte, the last remaining stronghold of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, had been liberated after the last positions held by Gaddafi loyalists were captured.

Colonel Yunus Al Abdali, head of operations in the eastern half of Gaddafi's hometown, said: "There are no Gaddafi forces any more. We are now chasing his fighters who are trying to run away."

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Despite resistance from snipers, the BBC cited eyewitness reports that a “final push” on Sirte lasted about 90 minutes, after a fierce battle for the port city that had gone on for weeks.

But the BBC said that some Gaddafi loyalists were still resisting government forces in the desert town of Bani Walid, south-east of Tripoli, which NTC said had been liberated.

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According to the Associated Press, At least 16 pro-Gaddafi fighters were captured along with multiple cases of ammunation and trucks loads with weapons. 

From the BBC