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LIBYA: rebels give ultimatum to loyalists to surrender by Saturday – Telegraph

August 30, 2011

Libyan rebels prepare to head out to patrol Heisha village Photo: AP

Libya: rebels give ultimatum to loyalists to surrender by Saturday

Libyan rebels said on Tuesday they are ready for the “final battle” of the six-month uprising by issuing an ultimatum to Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte to surrender by Saturday or face an all-out military assault.

By Rob Crilly, Benghazi6:27PM BST 30 Aug 2011

The coastal city is the last remaining centre of resistance against the revolution which seized the capital Tripoli last week.

“Zero hour is quickly approaching. We would like everyone to know that we are ready for a final military battle,” said Col Ahmed Omar Bani, the military spokesman.

Rebel forces have been closing on Sirte from the east and west, but have slowed their approach to allow time for a negotiated surrender.

They know they could encounter fierce resistance from tribes loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi, making Sirte a more difficult city to capture than Tripoli.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the head of the rebel National Transitional Council, said he wanted to avoid more bloodshed and destruction but loyalists had only until the end of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr to agree to a peaceful handover.

via Libya: rebels give ultimatum to loyalists to surrender by Saturday – Telegraph.

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