Combat in Libya; European Leaders Visit Tripoli

Tripoli, Sep 15. -Those loyal to leader Muammar Gaddafi continued resisting the rebels´ offensive on Thursday in Bani Walid and Sirte as Libya received the French and British president and prime minister, respectively.Regional television media noted that a detachment of approximately more than 1,000 men has prevented the rebels to take over Bani Walid, a city located 150 kilometers southeast Tripoli, despite NATO air raids that have been taking place for over a week.

NATO warplanes kept bombing places in and in the outskirts of the city of Bani Walid in the last hours to facilitate the advance of rebels, a similar strategy used in the coastal city of Sirte.

Reports show that in the Mediterranean city of Sirte, Gaddafi´s hometown, continue the so far unsuccessful negotiations between the rebels and local tribal leaders so that they surrender and to avoid more bloodshed.

French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and British Prime Minister, David Cameron, expressed their support in Tripoli to the rebels, who still do not fully control Libya despite they are backed by NATO.

During their short visit to this country, the statesmen promised to gradually lift the sanctions imposed on Libya renewing their offer of continue carrying out NATO air raids against pro-Gaddafi forces over the strongholds of Bani Walid, Sirte and Sabha.

However, Cameron announced that London will deploy a team of British soldier to advise rebels in matters of security promising to give back to Tripoli securities equivalent to nearly 790 million U.S. dollars, which were frozen during Gaddafi´s government.

For now, the United States sent to Tripoli Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman, who met on Wednesday with leaders of the National Transitional Council (NTC), including its leader, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, to express his country´s support. (Prensa Latina)