Libyan family killed fleeing Gadhafi hometown

October 2, 2011 • World News

Libyan revolutionary fighters rest during an attack for the city of Sirte, Libya, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Rebel forces are battling to make headway against loyalist fighters inside the home town of Libya’s ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Two children and their parents were killed by machine-gun fire Saturday while trying to flee Moammar Gadhafi’s hometown along with hundreds of other residents, as forces loyal to the ousted regime engaged in heavy clashes with revolutionary fighters surrounding the city.

Their bodies were brought to a makeshift hospital outside Sirte, said a doctor there, Nuri Naari. They were hit by machine-gun fire as they drove toward the positions of revolutionary forces on the edges of the city, he said. It was unclear who killed them.

Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander for Africa told The Associated Press on Saturday that the military mission in Libya was largely complete and NATO’s involvement could begin to wrap up as soon as next week after allied leaders meet in Brussels.

Sirte is one of the last cities to remain in loyalist hands. After months of stalemate in Libya’s civil war, anti-Gadhafi forces swept into the capital in August and their leaders set up a transitional government. But the continued fighting in holdout cities and the failure to find and capture Gadhafi has kept Libya’s new leaders from being able to declare victory.

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