Libya's interim government forces have taken control of the airport and a major air base in Sirte, the hometown of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and one of the last strongholds of his loyalist forces, the BBC reported on Sunday, referring to rebel fighters.
A spokesman for the military council in Misrata, a city on the coast between Sirte and Tripoli, said some fighters had advanced to within 7 km (4.3 miles) of the center of Sirte, although the advance had been slow due to fierce resistance from Gaddafi forces, the BBC reported.
Colonel Gaddafi who has ruled Libya with an iron fist for over 40 years has been in hiding since the rebel forces captured the capital Tripoli in August.
Gaddafi's remaining forces are holding out in Sirte, Bani Walid and several other towns while the forces of the new interim leadership, the National Transitional Council, are trying to assert full control of the country, the BBC said.
Heavy fighting is also reported in another Gaddafi stronghold, the town of Bani Walid, the BBC said.