Gaddafi manhunt: rebels and NATO close in — RT

26 August 2011 — RT

[How ironic that the only relatively reliable news out of Libya should come from a Russian-state funded TV station, RT! WB]

British Tornado jets have fired cruise missiles at Colonel Gaddafi’s command and control bunker in his hometown of Sirte, despite previous claims the coalition would not assist rebels in hunting him down. The colonel’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Earlier Libyan rebels said they had sent Special Forces to hunt down Gaddafi, whose loyalists are still fighting in Tripoli. They also tried to reach Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, but met with fierce resistance.

Unconfirmed reports claim NATO planes bombarded Sirte overnight. Meanwhile, the UN has urged all sides in the Libyan conflict to avoid acts of violence and revenge.

Libya’s rebels have pushed up their assault on the capital in the last 24 hours, storming what seems to be Colonel Gaddafi’s last base in the Abu Salim neighborhood of Tripoli. That operation resulted in several gun battles between Gaddafi’s loyalists and the opposition.

The rebels have also tried to reach Sirte, Gaddafi’s hometown, but were met with fierce resistance. There were unconfirmed reports that NATO planes bombarded the city overnight.

The United Nations has addressed both sides in the Libyan conflict, appealing for them to make sure no more violence will take place in the country. The appeal followed alleged reports of mass killings and abuse by both rebels and Gaddafi troops.

The US, together with South Africa, has also tied up a deal to release $1.5bn in frozen Libyan funds, which is believed to be a means of humanitarian aid.

Meanwhile, the Libyan opposition said it urgently needed at least $5 billion in frozen assets to pay state salaries, maintain vital services and repair critical oil facilities.

The South African delegation said however it objected that the funds go straight to the Libyan rebel government, the National Transitional Council (NTC), which the African Union has refused to recognize officially.

‘Because if it’s NTC, then it means that we are agreeing as the 15 collective council members to say yes to the NTC and we have not all recognized it,’ a spokeswoman for the South African UN mission told an Al Jazeera correspondent.

Libyan rebels have said they had begun transferring their administration from Benghazi to the capital, Tripoli, which they announced on Thursday, and claim that about a half the NTC leaders are already there.

The Libyan rebel leadership repeatedly pleaded with the US and other countries on Friday to unfreeze billions of dollars, saying the funds are vital for the country to establish peace and stability.

The call for funds comes a day after the UN Security Council’s sanctions committee has ruled to unfreeze $1.5 billion of some $100 billion of Libyan assets.

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