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Rebels turn focus to Gadhafi hometown

TRIPOLI, Libya -- Tripoli on Friday enjoyed its calmest day since the rebel takeover nearly a week ago, and hundreds even celebrated with a march chanting: "Hold your head high! You are a free Libyan."

The more relaxed atmosphere was one of the strongest signs yet that Moammar Gadhafi and his loyalists have largely been driven out of the capital.

As the fighting waned, the International Red Cross in Geneva expressed concern about treatment of detainees on both sides.

Associated Press reporters saw eight wounded men, apparently Gadhafi supporters, who had been abandoned in a bombed-out fire station in the Tripoli neighborhood of Abu Salim, scene of ferocious clashes on Thursday. Abu Baker Amin, 24, his right leg broken by a grenade, said he had not received food or water for two days. An emaciated man lay on the floor, pleading for water. Local residents made no attempt to get the wounded to a hospital.

With the capital more secure, NATO and rebel fighters turned their attention to Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, his last major bastion of support. British warplanes struck a large bunker there, while local rebel commander Fadl-Allah Haron said that if city residents don't surrender fast, "a battle will be waiting for them there."

Back in Tripoli, much of the city was still without electricity and water, and garbage piles were getting higher and smellier by the day. -- AP

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