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Offensives of Libyan transitional govt upset in Sirte

(Xinhua)

10:08, September 21, 2011

TRIPOLI, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- As the remaining forces of Libya's fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi were hiding inside civilian residences, rebels of the Libyan National Transitional Council ( NTC)and the NATO fighters had to reduce their military operations in the western town of Sirte, a senior NTC officer said on Tuesday.

The Gaddafi loyalist forces in Sirte used civilians as human shields, firing intensely towards the NTC rebels with machine-guns and missiles, the officer told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

He said the NTC was providing shelter to the civilians fleeing Sirte, and that had decelerated their offensives.

The NTC is now planning new tactics on Sirte, said the officer, adding that the fighters had captured one of Gaddafi's armories near Sirte and were in high spirit.

On Monday, NTC military spokesperson Ahmed Bani admitted that their fighters were meeting with geographical difficulties in the southeastern town of Bani Walid, where strong resistance from Gaddafi's remaining forces had kept the NTC unable to approach the town.

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