One of the final cities in Libya to resist rebel forces has surrendered.
Bani Walid, described as ‘a remote city’, has been under siege for weeks.
Along with Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, Bani Walid was one of the last cities to resist capture. But now fighters with Libya’s interim government have raised the country’s new flag over the city centre.
Mohammed Shakonah, military commander with the National Transitional Council (NTC), said: “Bani Walid has been completely liberated since last night.
“We took our positions in Bani Walid. And today we have completely combed Bani Walid. Allahu Akbar.”
NTC forces are said to have taken heavy casualties after battling in Bani Walid for weeks.
Reports also suggest the NTC is struggling to overcome Gaddafi loyalists in Sirte. The BBC reports that anti-Gaddafi fighters are being stalled by sniper fire.
Bani Walid, around 110 miles south-east of Tripoli, was thought to be a potential site for Gaddafi’s last stand.
This weekend, a pro-Gaddafi TV station confirmed reports that the ousted leader’s son, Khamis, has been killed fighting NTC forces in August.
In Tripoli, bulldozers started the demolition of Gaddafi’s compound, Bab al-Aziziya. The interim leaders explained it was time “to tear down the symbol of tyranny”.
Gaddafi’s whereabouts are unknown, but many believe he is hiding in Libya’s southern desert.