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NATO focuses fire near Gadhafi's hometown

NATO has turned its attention to the region around Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, the Libyan leader's largest remaining stronghold, launching airstrikes targeting loyalist forces battling rebel troops.

August 26, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
NATO has turned its attention to the region around Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, the Libyan leader's largest remaining stronghold, launching airstrikes targeting loyalist forces battling rebel troops.

The rebels are struggling to take complete control of Tripoli after sweeping into the city on Sunday.

Since the takeover, Tripoli enjoyed the quietest day yet on Friday, though pro-Gadhafi forces were shelling the airport and sporadic shooting was reported elsewhere in the metropolis of two million people.

Meantime, the head of the rebel government is calling for the release of more frozen Libyan assets after the U.S. and South Africa agreed to release $1.5 billion from U.S. banks.

Gadhafi's whereabouts are still unknown.

Thursday, he released an audio message urging his supporters not to surrender.

"Do not leave Tripoli for the rats. Do not leave them. Fight them, destroy them. You are the overwhelming majority, you have marched in millions. March with the same millions but fight this time," Gadhafi said in the message.

Rebels meanwhile have uncovered a huge ammunition dump on the grounds of a hotel in Tripoli providing them with much needed supplies.

The Obama administration is debating how to track down Libya's vast weapons stores. Experts worry the weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists or Gadhafi loyalists.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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