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A bulldozer has destroyed the house of Gaddafi inside the Bab al-Aziziya compound [EPA]

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Libya - Aug 5, 2011 - 07:44

Last modified: 5 Aug 2011 04:44

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, says that NATO military operations in Libya are not bogged down and that rebel forces have been making progress against Gaddafi's forces.

 "We cannot speak of getting bogged down. We are five months into our operations [and] no one talked about a lightning war," Juppe told France 2 television.

But, he acknowledged: "We probably underestimated the resistance that would be put up by Gaddafi's forces."

"Southern Libya is practically under the NTC's control," he said, adding  that rebel forces are "making progress in the west toward Tripoli and in the Brega region" home to a strategic northern oil port off the Mediterranean Sea. Juppe said international forces would also "continue to put this military pressure" on Gaddafi.

He rejected talk of divisions within the rebels' ranks.

"I don't think we can talk about divisions. The causes of general Yunis's assassination are still not completely known but the changing of the guard was assured and we have confidence in the NTC leaders."