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Libya's Moussa Ibrahim says was in Sirte on Sunday
September 26, 2011 / 4:06 PM / 6 years ago

Libya's Moussa Ibrahim says was in Sirte on Sunday

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Tunis, Sept 26 (Reuters) - The fugitive spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi said on Monday that he was in the ousted leader's hometown of Sirte as it came under attack on Sunday but he refused to comment on Gaddafi's own whereabouts.

Sirte -- one of only two main remaining Gaddafi strongholds in Libya -- is besieged by provisional government forces on three fronts and has been regularly hit by NATO warplanes.

Ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) forces pushed into the town's eastern outskirts on Monday, having penetrated deep into its west on Saturday, but faced fierce resistance from fighters loyal to Gaddafi.

NATO said its warplanes hit eight targets in the town on Sunday, including ammunition depots and rocket launchers.

"I was yesterday in Sirte," Moussa Ibrahim told Reuters in a satellite phone call. "The situation is quite bad."

Ibrahim again refused to comment on the specific location of Gaddafi but said that he was in Libya and "very happy that he is doing his part in this great saga of resistance".

The United Nations and aid groups have said that conditions inside the city may be dire, that food and medical supplies cannot get in and that there is little water and no power.

"The local hospital has stopped working altogether because it lacks any sort of electricity, it lacks medicine and lots of medical equipment has stopped working," Ibrahim said.

"The sewage system of the city stopped working about 10 days ago so many streets are flooded at the moment, which is of course a ripe environment for diseases."

Gaddafi's spokesman has alleged that NATO attacks on the town have killed hundred of civilians. He said that NTC shelling had killed 67 on Sunday.

NATO has said that allegations its air strikes have killed civilians in Sirte are "unfounded".

Ibrahim, who is widely believed to be on the run in Libya and who became the face of the toppled government during the war, said he had now left Sirte and was to its west.

"I'm going back there," he said, adding that he saw Gaddafi's most politically prominent son, Saif al-Islam, "now and again".

Ibrahim claimed that, though NTC fighters were massed around the city, that did not prevent him from leaving. (Editing by Giles Elgood)

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