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Interpol issues Gaddafi red notice

Muammar Gaddafi supporters have rocketed a front line south of Tripoli, testing the patience of the country's new leaders as a grace period for the holdouts to surrender runs out.

Meanwhile, Interpol said it has issued its top most-wanted alert for the arrest of Gaddafi, his son Seif al-Islam and the country's ex-head of military intelligence, all sought by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Gaddafi has not been seen in public for months and went underground after anti-regime fighters swept into Tripoli on August 21.

As the National Transitional Council (NTC) tries to establish its authority in Libya, speculation about Gaddafi's whereabouts has centred on his Mediterranean hometown of Sirte, southern Sabha, and Bani Walid, 90 miles south-east of Tripoli.

Gaddafi loyalists in all three towns have been given until Saturday to surrender or face an all-out battle.

Gaddafi holdouts fired mortars and rockets from Bani Walid. NTC forces around Bani Walid unloaded hundreds of boxes of ammunition and ordinance and reinforcements in gun-mounted trucks rushed toward the front line in the desert sand.

"Today marks the last day of the deadline," said Abdel-Razak al-Nazouri, a commander in the region. "Our men are preparing for an attack, probably tomorrow." Another transitional council fighter in the region, Osama al-Fassi, said: "We are preparing for war."

The NTC fighters said they had captured 10 Gaddafi fighters they suspected were spying on them. Dressed in fatigues, their hands tied behind their backs, the 10 were being held in two pickup trucks at the Wishtat checkpoint, about 20 mile from Bani Walid. An Associated Press photographer who saw the truck said two of the 10 appeared to be dead.

Meanwhile, the country's ambassador has said the rebel administration wants Niger to stop providing refuge to senior figures of Gaddafi's regime. Souleymane Ahmed Mohamed Moussa told reporters the NTC is sending a delegation next week to ask Niger not to give the officials "political asylum".

Mr Moussa said some armed Gaddafi loyalists have escaped to Niger along the desert border the countries share. Niger officials have said Gaddafi's security chief, Mansour Dao, arrived there this week along with 12 other Libyans. Unconfirmed reports have claimed Gaddafi's army commander for southern Libya, General Ali Kana, also escaped to Niger with an unknown number of troops.

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