NTC Captures Saadi Camp


Despite heavy gunfire in the Libyan city of Sirte, National Transition Council forces on Thursday showed sites that had been captured from the forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar Qaddafi.

NTC fighters in Sirte say they gained control three days ago of a military camp which had served as a base of Qaddafi's son Saadi and his forces. The fighters said they are also in control of Sirte Hotel, a five star venue owned by Qaddafi which was once used to host guests from lavish Arab and African summits.

Also nearby is the Qardabiyah military airbase, next to Sirte’s civilian airport, which NTC forces took control of last week.

Ali Al-Hinish, a government forces fighter said, "This is the al-Qardabiyah airbase in Sirte, considered the biggest airbase in North Africa. There is a weapons storage unit and a hangar for storing aircrafts. NATO bombed it and it is now completely controlled by rebels as are Abu Hadi and At'at village."

NTC commanders said they were planning to re-new their attack on the center of Sirte on Friday after prayers despite the heavy resistance put up by Qaddafi loyalists.

Meanwhile, thousands of civilians are still trapped in the city under difficult humanitarian conditions. Few families were seen leaving the city on Thursday. Video footage showed a family of women and children crammed in the back of a truck with their belongings leaving an area around three kilometers from the center of Sirte.

NTC fighters have said they were going to attempt to enter Sirte from its western and eastern fronts on Friday. The fighting has been going on in Sirte along with NATO aerial bombing for almost three weeks.

Ali Al-Hinish, a government forces fighter

Mustapha Ajbaili