Nato has no immediate plans to end its military intervention in Libya, the Western military alliance confirmed today.
Spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie said that Nato would continue supporting the rebels as long as civilians in the country are under threat, although the area around the capital, Tripoli, is now "essentially free."
He said the two sides were engaged in "discussions" about Sirte, a heavily militarised city some 250 miles east of Tripoli where supporters of Muammar Gadaffi show no signs of surrendering.
Rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil said that negotiations with forces in Sirte would end on Saturday after the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, when the rebels would "act decisively and militarily.
"We can't wait more than that," he said in Benghazi. "We seek and support any efforts to enter these places peacefully. At the end, it might be decided militarily. I hope it will not be the case."
Nato reported that it hit 22 armed vehicles, three command and control sites, four radar installations and several other targets in the Sirte area on Monday.
Other targets were hit in Bani Walid south of Misrata and Sebha further south.
In Tripoli rebel leaders trying to set up a new government struggled with widespread shortages of water and fuel.
They demanded that Algeria return Muammar Gadhafi's wife and three of his children for trial after they fled, raising tensions between the neighbouring countries.
Algeria's decision to host members of the Gadaffi clan is an "aggressive act against the Libyan people's wish," said Mahmoud Shammam, information minister in the rebels' interim government.
Safiya Gadhafi, her daughter Aisha and sons Hannibal and Mohammed entered Algeria on Monday, while Col Gadafi and several other sons remain at large.
Algeria's Health Ministry said that Aisha Gadhafi gave birth to a girl today.
The official provided no other information, including on where she gave birth.
Algerian news reports had said Aisha's pending childbirth was one reason for Algeria's decision to take the family in.
In Washington the Obama administration said it had no indication that Col Gadaffi himself has left his country.
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