Anti-Gadhafi fighters celebrate gains in Libya

By the Associated Press | October 10, 2011 | 8:50 AM EDT

Libyan revolutionary fighters attack pro-Gadhafi forces beside the Ouagadougou conference center of Sirte, Libya, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. Rebel forces have besieged Sirte since mid September and are still facing fierce resistance from loyalists inside the home town of Libya's ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky)

SIRTE, Libya (AP) — Jubilant revolutionary forces have raised their tri-color flag over a convention center in Sirte that long served as a base for Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists, even as fighting rages elsewhere in the fugitive leader's hometown.

Col. Younis al-Abdally, a commander in Sirte, says his troops have surrounded pro-Gadhafi fighters in a small area in the upscale neighborhood of Dollar Street.

The statement comes after days of fierce battles, with tank, rocket and machine-gun fire echoing through the streets around the Ouagadougou Convention Center, an ornate complex that Gadhafi frequently used for international summits.

Libya's new rulers have said they expect Sirte to fall this week, but die-hard supporters of the longtime leader are putting up a fierce resistance.