Assault turning Qaddafi's hometown to rubble

A wounded revolutionary fighter shows his injuries in Sirte, Libya on Oct. 10, 2011. A representative of Libya's ethnic Tuareg group says he believes Muammar Qaddafi is hiding in the southwestern desert near the borders with Niger and Algeria.
AP Photo/Manu Brabo

In Libya, the former rebels raised their flag Monday over a convention center in Muammar Qaddafi's hometown, Sirte.

But the battle is still raging, block-by-block, house-by-house, as pro-Qaddafi forces seem ready to fight to the last man.

CBS News correspondent Allen Pizzey reports that the last Qaddafi loyalists holding out in his hometown are being mercilessly ground down as the latest "final assault" gains brutal momentum.

An almost ceaseless attack using rockets, mortars and heavy machine guns has moved the front lines forward more in the last two days than even the attackers expected.

But with nowhere to run and no reason to expect mercy, the hardcore of what's left of Qaddafi's forces aren't giving up ground easily.

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Reinforcements of former rebels continue to charge through the gap in the protective wall to head for the front lines, spurred on by the scent of victory and a cry that is both call to arms and prayer.

They are prayers they feel are answered when comrades in arms meet, joyful that each has survived to fight on.

Abdurraouf Sadi, an oil field engineer turned fighter, says he had no choice but to be here.

"This is the price of freedom. We never knew freedom before," Sadi said.

By the time the prize of Sirte is won, there's not likely to be much left that's actually worth having.

But the value to the men fighting for it isn't material, it's psychological.

It's fall will signal the actual end of Qaddafi.

Not everyone in Qaddafi's birthplace was loyal to him, but the fighters who now control the rubble are jumpy, fearful that snipers may still be hiding here.

The assault on the last bastion seems designed to make sure none survive.