Rebel fighters have stormed into the Moammar Gadhafi's birthplace of Sirte, capturing what was one of the deposed Libyan leader's last remaining strongholds in the embattled nation. The attack was coordinated by the Misrata military council and involved 900 armed pick up trucks assaulting loyalist forces, The Guardian reports.
Although the loyal forces were able to withstand some of the early fighting, it was not long before the anti-Gadhafi forces had made their way into the city. Soon after, the rebels were controlling all the major streets while searching in places where they believe Gadhafi is hiding.
The capture of Sirte comes after NATO forces unleashed a significant bombing campaign on Wednesday that destroyed nearly 300 separate targets, though it is unclear whether or not they aided in the rebels' latest advancement.
According to the news source, by controlling Sirte the rebels scored not only a symbolic victory but a practical one as well since it has given them access to the major coastal highway, allowing them to reach the capital city of Tripoli. The fighting was not only going on in Sirte, the Associated Press reports. To the west, revolutionary forces struck in Bani Walid, a city which also housed a former Gadhafi residence.
"Today is the first day that we have completely taken over this part of Bani Walid," fighter Abul-Asara told the AP. "We are staying here."
Though the fighting is still going on in many parts of the country, more than 30 countries have recognized the anti-Gadhafi forces as the legitimate head of power in Libya.