Surt Uncertain

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The Guardian's Chris McGreal tweets his report from Surt, Qaddafi's hometown and a decisive stronghold. BBC has footage from the frontline. Enduring America steps back:

A striking contrast to Monday morning, when we woke to the claim --- which turned out to be incorrect --- that the opposition had suddenly taking the regime stronghold of Sirte, east of Tripoli. Based on that, we were speculating that Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's forces might be falling back on the capital for a concerted last stand.

In fact, the regime forces were fighting the insurgents to the east of Sirte, with reports putting the front-line anywhere between 80 and 180 kms (50 and 110 miles) from the town. Sirte itself, according to some reports (listen to audio in separate entry), was being reinforced by regime units, albeit with lighter weapons to avoid coalition airstrikes.

Feb17 is another great Libyan live-blog to follow. Meanwhile, what's the nutter up to?

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has called for an end to the "barbaric offensive" against Libya in a letter addressed to international powers meeting in London today. AFP reported that in the letter, Gaddafi likened the Nato-led air strikes to military campaigns launched by Adolf Hitler during World War II.

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