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Celebration begins as Libya's NTC to fully control Bani Walid


09:51, October 18, 2011

A National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter waves a flag outside a front line hospital in the suburbs of Bani Walid, Libya, Oct. 17, 2011. NTC fighters have controlled 90 percent area of Bani Walid, military spokesman Ahmed Bani said Monday. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)

BANI WALID, Libya, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Celebratory gunshots by fighters of Libya's new ruling authorities are echoing in the sky on Monday over Bani Walid, as solid advances have been made in the oasis town, one of a couple of last strongholds of forces loyal to fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Despite a lack of an agreed version on the progress in Bani Walid, some 170 km southeast of the capital Tripoli, fighters of the National Transitional Council (NTC) at the front line seems assured that the final victory is just around the corner.

Even cars with children aboard were seen entering the city for a premature celebration, whilst fighters stationing at the town's northwestern entrance showed the "V" gesture in a sturdy manner, shouting to each other "Safety (in the city)! Safety! Safety!"

At an elevated point along a road leading to the center of Bani Walid, scores of NTC fighters, all in high spirits, fired ceaselessly for minutes into the sky with machine guns and cannons, chanting "Allah is the greatest" and anti-Gaddafi slogans. Meanwhile, a number of others were painting graffiti images on a giant wall nearby.

The excitement was at its highest when three pro-Gaddafi mercenaries, believed to be from Niger, were passing by the spot aboard a NTC pickup after being captured from inside the city.

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