Gadhafi loyalists fire rockets from desert bastion

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WADI DINAR, Libya (AP) -- Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists are firing rockets from inside one of his last remaining bastions, targeting former rebel fighters who have surrounded the desert town of Bani Walid.

At least 10 loud explosions shook the ground along the desert frontline and smoke billowed from where the projectiles landed in Wadi Dinar, about 12 miles outside the town. The former rebels said the projectiles fired were Grad rockets.

The barrage comes just hours after an audio message from the fugitive Gadhafi was aired on Thursday on a loyalist Syrian-based TV channel.

In the message, the ousted Libyan leader urged followers to take up arms and denounced rumors that he had fled the country.