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Anti-Gadhafi forces battle again

Revolutionary forces entered Gadhafi’s birthplace of Sirte Saturday. At least 100 cars were seen entering the Mediterranean city in another attempt to take control.

The Misrata Military Council reported clashes south of the Al-Gordabia military base and said at least three anti-Gadhafi fighters were killed.

NATO planes, meanwhile, bombed targets in the Sirte area Friday. But Gadhafi’s forces unleashed hails of gunfire, using snipers in tall buildings to target their enemies.

Expected support from Sirte residents did not materialize as loyalists fought house to house with unexpected intensity. The revolutionaries were forced to retreat after the chaotic and fierce urban warfare.

But in Sahara towns more sympathetic to the revolution, people cheered the anti-Gadhafi forces as they made their way toward the southern city of Sabha.

In Shati, there was no combat; only a peaceful transfer of power, perhaps the first in the eight-month uprising. In the morning the tiny town had been under Gadhafi’s grip. By afternoon, no more.

Residents fired their guns in celebration and burned the green flags of the former regime.

They welcomed the ordinary Libyans — teachers, doctors, engineers — who dropped everything to join the fight against Gadhafi. They were rebels once. Now they were the armed wing of Libya’s new governing body, the National Transitional Council.

The anti-Gadhafi fighters know the situation will be different once they reach Sabha, another diehard Gadhafi city.

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