By Ria Novosti
Libyan provisional government fighters, backed by NATO, have launched an assault on one of Muammar Gaddafi’s last bastions, Beni Walid, world media reported.
Rebel forces poured into the desert town, located 150 kilometers southeast of Tripoli, on Saturday after a deadline set by the National Transitional Council (NTC) for Gaddafi strongholds to surrender expired.
Fighters have been conducting door-to-door raids for snipers, while NATO jets have provided air support. However, they encountered stiff resistance and some even pulled back.
Key members of the toppled Libyan leader’s regime – including two of Gaddafi’s sons – may be holed up in the desert city, rebels believe.
Meanwhile, a crowd of supporters greeted NTC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil as he arrived in Tripoli Saturday for the first time since his group took over the capital in August. The NTC has announced plans to move its headquarters from the eastern city of Benghazi to Tripoli.
Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Gadhafi, his son Saif al-Islam and Libya’s former intelligence chief on Friday.