Report: Libya NTC extends Sirte deadline by a week

September 1, 2011 15:35

LONDON - Tribal leaders in Muammar Gaddafi's home town of Sirte have been given an extra week to organize a peaceful handover of the city, the BBC said on Thursday, quoting a senior official of Libya's National Transition Council (NTC).

They had originally been warned of an all-out military assault by Saturday if they did not surrender following Gaddafi's ouster in a rebel offensive. Gaddafi is now a fugitive.

BBC radio said intensive discussions with tribal leaders in Sirte, aimed at avoiding bloodshed, broke up earlier on Thursday without agreement but with the leaders getting a further week to try to bring people around in the town to a surrender.

It quoted the unnamed senior NTC official as saying that the tribal leaders did seem to realize there was no point in holding out. The problem, he added, was that they hadn't yet managed to persuade some of Gaddafi's troops of that.

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