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Libyan leaders to announce 'liberation' if key city falls

By the CNN Wire Staff
October 3, 2011 -- Updated 1811 GMT (0211 HKT)
A National Transitional Council fighter flashes the V-sign as on the eastern front line of Sirte on October 2
A National Transitional Council fighter flashes the V-sign as on the eastern front line of Sirte on October 2
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Fighting persists in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown, Sirte
  • The leaders of Libya plan to announce the country's "liberation" if Sirte falls
  • The council's leader says he plans to resign if Sirte falls
  • Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years, remains at large

(CNN) -- The leaders of Libya plan to declare the "liberation" of Libya if and when fighters for the National Transitional Council defeat forces loyal to ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi in Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, the head of the council, Mustapha Abdel Jalil, said Monday.

Jalil and Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril also said they would not participate in any future government.

The transitional council organized the military and political movement to unseat Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for 42 years. Many nations and world bodies, including the United States, Great Britain, France, the United Nations and the African Union, recognize it as Libya's legitimate government.

The council has been preparing to formally govern Libya since ousting Gadhafi, who remains at large. It named members of a new cabinet on Monday, a day after two council spokesman said a slate of cabinet ministers was finalized.

The council moved its capital from Benghazi to Tripoli last month, after anti-Gadhafi forces took over the city.

Sirte is among a handful of cities in Libya where fighting persists between the council's forces and Gadhafi loyalists.

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