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Airstrikes hit Gaddafi's hometown

Nato airstrikes have pounded an area in Muammar Gaddafi's hometown, fighters said, while revolutionary forces surrounding the city came under rocket fire.

Despite the continued fighting, Libya's new rulers said a new government would be formed within 10 days, as they struggle to assert control over the country and assert international legitimacy.

Mahmoud Jibril, the premier for the National Transitional Council (NTC), said most of the work has been done on forming a new Cabinet, but it was important to ensure national consensus on the issue.

The NTC failed to agree on a list of ministers over the weekend, dashing hopes a new government would be in place before Jibril and NTC leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil left to represent Libya at the UN General Assembly.

Mr Jibril said on Tuesday in New York that he expects a new government to be formed "within a week, 10 days maximum from now," adding that the current political difficulties were not unusual for a "country which was absent from ... .any democratic culture."

He said "most of the work has been done" but one issue still to be decided was the number of ministries to be located in the capital. He said one option was to divide the ministries between the eastern and western parts of the country.

Gaddafi wielded near-total control over the North African nation for nearly 42 years before he was forced into hiding after months of civil war.

The uprising - inspired by the successful ouster of autocratic leaders in Tunisia and Egypt - spread from the eastern city of Benghazi in mid-February.

Armed fighters still loyal to the fugitive leader have repelled anti-Gaddafi forces in Sirte, the mountain enclave of Bani Walid and the southern area of Sabha.

Government forces have made inroads against Gaddafi loyalists in Sabha, the gateway to a key road leading south to the border with Niger.

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