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Libya fighters gear for battle in pro-Gadhafi town

By Hadeel Al-shalchi

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Sept. 10 2011 2:00 a.m. MDT

Libyans gather for Friday prayers in the former Green Square, now called Martyrs' Square, in Tripoli, Libya, Friday, Sept. 9, 2011.

Abdel Magid Al Fergany, Associated Press

WISHTATA, Libya — Libyan fighters are signing up for a final assault on one of the last remaining bastions of Moammar Gadhafi.

The volunteers are pouring in by the dozens, coming in pickup trucks from cities as far as Tripoli and Tobruk, as a deadline expired on Saturday for the pro-Gadhafi loyalists holed up inside the town of Bani Walid to surrender.

At a mosque in Wishtata, a hamlet about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from Bani Walid, the volunteers crowded around a desk to register their names and blood type.

Teacher Abdel Wahab Milad from nearby town of Gharyan says he's joining the fight because it's time to "get rid of Gadhafi once and for all."

Libyan fighters on Friday launched a two-pronged assault on Bani Walid after a weeklong standoff over a peaceful surrender dissolved.

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