Libya forces relaunch Sirte assault after setback

Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:59pm GMT

Inspired by protests in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt that ended in the overthrow of long-standing autocratic leaders, Libyans rose up against Gaddafi in February, but it took six months of civil war to end his one-man rule.

The NTC lent its backing to another regional revolt on Wednesday, officially recognising as Syria's legitimate authority an umbrella opposition council struggling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

While Gaddafi himself is still at large, his wife, two sons and a daughter fled to neighbouring Algeria shortly after Tripoli was captured by the NTC in August.

Algeria's foreign minister said his country let them in for "humanitarian reasons." The NTC at the time called it an "act of aggression," but has since moved to patch up ties with Algeria.

"Algeria has systematically honoured all its obligations as a member of the international community," Foreign Minister Mourad Medelci told a news conference in Algiers alongside British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Wednesday.

Hague, on a tour of the region, said he respected Algeria's position but had requested all countries in the region honour obligations to turn over any indicted war crimes suspects.

(Additional reporting by Yasmine Saleh in Tripoli and Adrian Croft in Algiers; Writing by Jon Hemming; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Anti-Gaddafi fighters fire a rocket during clashes with pro-Gaddafi forces at the frontline in Sirte October 19, 2011.   REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani
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