Anti-Gaddafi fighters seize Sirte police HQ

Anti-Gaddafi fighters seize Sirte police HQ

Meanwhile, National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters were gearing for a fresh onslaught on the desert town of Bani Walid, another remaining bastion of forces loyal to the ousted dictator, prompting civilians to flee.

In Sirte, jubilant NTC combatants celebrated the takeover of the strategic police building, which they found to be deserted, by honking the horns of their vehicles and firing into the air.

They then proceeded to ransack the centre and destroy posters of the fugitive Gaddafi that they found inside.

The celebrations came to an abrupt end when one of the fighters was accidentally shot in the head, an AFP reporter said.

In contrast to Monday, when NTC forces were pounded with rockets and gunfire as they battled Gaddafi loyalists street by street, they met no resistance at all on Tuesday as they edged into the centre of the Mediterranean city.

An advance force of about 30 fighters checked each house as they moved forward from the city's east early morning, kicking in doors and covering each other from possible snipers hidden on rooftops.

Clothing abandoned by soldiers and remains of meals were found in some of the buildings.

The fighters became more cautious once they reached the city centre, sticking to its edges for fear that snipers were lying in wait inside and on top of the many tall buildings.
They then converged on the nearby police headquarters, expecting a battle but found it empty.

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