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Libyan rebels advance on two critical Qaddafi strongholds

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Zohra Bensemra/Reuters

(Read caption) Anti-Qaddafi fighters shout 'God is the greatest' as they head to the front line, north of the besieged city of Bani Walid on Sept. 16. The rebels entered the town of Bani Walid Friday after their position came under attack.

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The Libyan rebels advanced today on two of Muammar Qaddafi's last-remaining strongholds, which have rapidly dwindled in number in recent weeks.

According to the Associated Press, the rebels entered the town of Bani Walid today and are making their way to the center after laying siege from the town's perimeter for two weeks. They also converged on Sirte, Qaddafi's hometown, late Thursday. The BBC reports that there are only four towns left under pro-Qaddafi control – those two, and the inland towns of Sabha and Jufra.

The National Transitional Council (NTC) was hesitant to stage an assault on Bani Walid because it feared alienating the powerful Warfallah tribe there, but this week it warned civilians of an imminent attack and urged them to leave, Reuters reports.


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