Continuous clashes in Sirte kill 8 NTC fighters, wound 39: source

A total of eight fighters of Libya' s ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) were killed and another 39 were wounded in Sirte Monday, as battles went on in the hometown of fallen leader Muammar Gaddafi, a source close to NTC's front line members said.

On Monday, a NTC infantry squad in Sirte was surrounded by pro- Gaddafi soldiers, who resorted to mortars in the exchange of fire and resulted in the NTC's casualties, a Xinhua photographer, currently near Sirte with NTC fighters, quoted a source as saying.

Some members of the squad managed to pull out, the source told Xinhua.

Meanwhile, NATO planes continued on Monday their strike mission over Sirte, where battles have been dragging on for weeks. The NTC previously confirmed that one of Gaddafi's sons Muatassim was holed up in Sirte.

The NTC has attempted to launch attacks towards downtown Sirte in recent days, but was just upset by strong resistance by the remnant Gaddafi forces.

[Source: Xinhua, Tripoli, 03Oct11]

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