OUTSKIRTS OF SIRTE, Libya — Nearly three weeks into their assault on Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, the revolutionaries launched their first coordinated attack on the city proper, sending hundreds of trucks and men on foot pushing from strategic points into the city.
The results were mixed — with rebels having cleared a neighborhood of bungalows known as the 700 Houses complex where they’d taken significant sniper fire, but still mostly thwarted from entering one of the loyalist centers which contains Sirte’s main hospital and Ugadugo Congress Hall.
By late afternoon, at least 11 had been killed and more than 150 wounded.
News began to filter last night through the Misrata-based brigades encamped in nicely furnished houses of former regime figures that the attack would come this morning. And several reporters saw commanders planning the assault with an accurate map of the city last night.
The young fighters woke up by 6 a.m. They were joined by hundreds of machine gun trucks streaming in from Misrata.