Explosions heard in Libyan capital

Explosions heard in Libyan capital

Several bomb blasts have been heard after a NATO warplane flew over areas in the Libyan capital city of Tripoli amid opposition fighters' efforts to seize Sirte, Press TV reported.

The explosions were heard before 01:00 a.m. (2300 GMT Sunday), AFP reported on Monday.

In the capital, clashes between opposition fighters and troops loyal to fugitive ruler Muammar Gaddafi have largely ended, but a few isolated pro-Gaddafi forces came out sporadically.

Opposition fighters said earlier that they took control of the eastern town of Ben Jawad, which marks the border with Gaddafi's hometown, Sirte, which is located 360 kilometers east of Tripoli.

"We took Bin Jawad today on the eastern front," opposition commander in Misratah Mohammed al-Fortiya said.

Gaddafi's chief spokesman Moussa Ibrahim announced that Gaddafi is still in the country.

The ruler's whereabouts are still unknown after the opposition took his main compound of Bab al-Azizayah last week, but there is widespread speculation that he is holed up among tribal supporters in Sirte.

"We are negotiating with the tribes for Sirte's peaceful surrender," Fortiya said, adding that only tribal leaders were involved, and that to his knowledge no direct contact had been made with Gaddafi himself.

Meanwhile, opposition forces on Sunday rejected an offer by Gaddafi to negotiate with the regime.

"I would like to state very clearly, we don't recognize them. We are looking at them as criminals. We are going to arrest them very soon," Mahmoud Shammam, the Libyan opposition's minister of information, said.

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