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Libyan rebels urge Gaddafi loyalists to surrender as UN prepares for Libya's future

(Xinhua)

15:13, August 31, 2011

BENGHAZI/UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Libyan rebels Tuesday urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's loyalists to surrender and hand over Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte. Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) said it has prepared blueprints for post-conflict Libya.

Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil told a press conference in the eastern rebel bastion Benghazi that the rebels wanted Gaddafi's loyalists in Sirte to lay down their arms by the end of the Eid holiday or they would resort to military means.

Jalil said the rebels wanted to enter Sirte in a peaceful manner and were still negotiating with local tribal elders.

According to NTC military spokesman Ahmed Bani, the electricity supply in Sirte has been cut off for ten days, next to shortages of fuel, food and medicine.

"We have offered them an opportunity to coordinate with us," he said. "The window of this chance will be closed by the end of the Eid holiday."

If the efforts for a peaceful handover fail by Saturday, the rebels would resort to military means to enter Sirte, Jalil said, adding that they could no longer wait.

Jalil also said the Algerian government would not shelter Gaddafi family members currently staying in Algeria for a long time, as they deserve a fair trial.

Gaddafi's wife Safiya, his daughter Aisha, and sons Hannibal and Mohammed, accompanied by their children, entered Algeria Monday morning through the Algerian-Libyan border, but the whereabouts of the embattled leader remain unknown.

Algeria's Foreign Ministry said the United Nations and the NTC had been informed, adding that Algeria allowed the Gaddafis to stay in the country on humanitarian grounds only, Algeria's state-owned radio reported Tuesday.

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