"The resistance from the two neighbourhoods is high because we believe there are four to five important people inside," eastern front operations chief Wesam bin Hamaibi said on Saturday after a meeting of National Transitional Council commanders.
"We are sure that (Gaddafi's son and his national security chief) Mutassim and (ousted defence minister) Abu Bakr Yunis are inside," he said. "We also believe that Seif al-Islam (another ofGaddafi's sons) and Gaddafi (himself) are possibly inside.
"We want to capture them alive to hand them over to the judiciary rather than killing them, which is why we are still not going to have a massive attack." Gaddafi's diehard fighters are holed up in two residential districts of the northwest of the Mediterranean coastal city -- the Dollar and Number Two neighbourhoods.
"The plan is to keep the neighbourhoods surrounded," Hamaibi said. An AFP correspondent on the front line heard small-arms exchanges on Saturday, together with some rocket and rocket-propelled grenade fire, but not as intense as earlier this week