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Libyan rebels give Sirte residents two days to leave city

RIA Novosti

02:11 02/10/2011

MOSCOW, October 2 (RIA Novosti) - Libya's Transitional National Council announced a two-day truce to give civilians a chance to escape the besieged city of Sirte, Sky News said citing a TNC leader.

National Transitional Council (NTC) forces claimed on Saturday they completely encircled Sirte, the hometown of deposed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the largest settlement still outside the rebel control.

"The revolutionaries camping at the frontline of Sirte have given residents two-days to leave the city... this will allow for a large number of civilians to evacuate Sirte," TNC leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil said

Moussa Ibrahim, the fugitive spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi, denied reports that he had been captured this week, trying to leave Sirte disguised as a woman, Al Jazeera said.

"This information is a lie and does not reflect reality because I was near the front of Sirte with 23 fighters," the channel quoted Ibrahim as saying. "We were attacked for over a day-and-a-half by heavily armed rebels. There were deaths on both sides."

Meanwhile, a member of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation Hichem Khadhraoui, told AFP after visiting Sirte that humanitarian situation in the city was "desperate."

A group of ICRC workers delivered medical supplies to the city, which had seen prolonged and intense fighting between Gaddafi loyalists and the rebel forces.

Libyan rebels started a six-month military campaign, assisted by NATO, against the Gaddafi regime in mid-February. The international NATO-led military operation began on March 19 following a UN resolution on "targeted measures" to protect civilians.

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