End of Libya war 'close': defence minister
Defence Minister Jalal al-Digheily said Friday the end of the conflict in Libya was near, speaking on the occasion of visits by his British and Italian counterparts Liam Fox and Ignazio La Russa.
"We are very close to the end of the war and peace will be restored all over Libya," he said at a joint news conference with La Russa.
"Libyan fighters achieved several victories east, south and west of the country," he told reporters in Arabic remarks translated into English.
"There are still some hot spots but they won't resist very long," he added of Sirte and Bani Walid, where forces loyal to fallen strongman Moamer Kadhafi are still holding out against National Transitional Council (NTC) forces.
The Mediterranean coastal town of Sirte, Kadhafi's hometown, was rocked by deadly fighting on Friday in what NTC forces said was a final assault.
At Bani Walid, southeast of the capital Tripoli, an NTC commander outside the oasis told AFP a new mediation attempt was under way, but if it failed a fresh assault would be launched.
© 2011 AFP