A Libyan commander says revolutionary forces have completely surrounded Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte and are engaged in heavy fighting on the city's streets.
Mustafa al-Rubai says fighters from eastern Libya seized control of Sirte's first residential district and a hotel where Gadhafi's snipers were based.
Al-Rubai told The Associated Press on Saturday that even though the fighters have surrounded Sirte from all sides, a path out has been left for civilians who still want to leave the coastal city.
Libyan fighters say that after weeks of fighting Gadhafi's loyalists inside Sirte, they now hold positions about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the city center.
The Libyan defense ministry has said the fighters also seized the Sirte port, military base and airport last week.