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Advance on Gaddafi hometown delayed for want of ammunition

The advance on Sirte has been put off for a week as a shortage of ammunition is being faced, and new supplies are to be collected from Benghazi

AFP , Thursday 22 Sep 2011
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Troops advancing on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown Sirte from the east have put off any offensive for a week for want of ammunition, a brigade commander told AFP on Thursday.

"Fighting has been stopped for a week. We are facing a shortage of ammunition," said Commander Mustafa bin Dardef of the Zintan Brigade, whose troops are deployed on the front line 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Sirte.

Bin Dardef said he was heading to Libya's main eastern city of Benghazi with a group of his men to try to organise new supplies.

In the meantime, troops loyal to the new regime would establish a "strong defensive line" around the town of Sultana, which they captured early on Monday and is now five kilometres (three miles) behind the front line.

"Yesterday we deployed bulldozers to dig trenches along the front line from our side in order to hold our positions," he said.

When asked whether troops advancing on Sirte from Misrata to the west and Waddan to the south would also hold back, Bin Dardef said he was still waiting to hear.

"We have asked the other fronts also to hold the fire, so we can coordinate better. But we have no information on their latest plan," he said.

Fighting outside Sultana has been intense in recent days with Gaddafi forces putting up stiff resistance. The front line has barely moved in the three days since the town's capture.

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