SIRTE, Libya — Revolutionary fighters assaulted Moammar Gadhafi's hometown from all sides Friday in what they hope will be a final all-out offensive to crush resistance in the most important bastion of regime loyalists.
Libya's new leaders say Sirte's fall is critical to formally declaring liberation and setting a timeline for elections — even if fighting persists elsewhere and the ousted leader is nowhere to be found — more than six weeks after the then-rebels seized control of the capital and most other parts of the country.
Smoke drifted over the skyline and explosions thundered throughout the besieged city, as long lines of civilians fleeing by car formed at checkpoints manned by revolutionary forces.
Accidents on China highways kill 56
BEIJING — Three major road accidents in China killed 56 people on the last day of a weeklong holiday, including 35 people who died after a bus collided with a car on a northern expressway, state media reported Saturday.
The official Xinhua News Agency said that the bus flipped over after crashing into a car in the port city of Tianjin on Friday afternoon, injuring 18 others.
Xinhua cited a Tianjin traffic official as saying the bus was speeding and that many passengers were thrown out of the vehicle when it hit the car and rolled over.
Islamic militants rally in Pakistan city
ISLAMABAD — A large crowd of Islamic militants rallied this week in the heart of Islamabad to voice support for Pakistan's army and to condemn the United States in another sign of a growing tide of extremism sweeping the country.
The new evidence of rising Islamic extremism comes as the United States and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan's military and its main spy agency of supporting jihadist groups — even as extremist violence besieges Pakistan.