Libya NTC head Abdul Jalil wants help battling Gaddafi

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Media captionMustafa Abdul Jalil says he believes Col Gaddafi is planning attacks

The head of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) has appealed for weapons as NTC forces fight to capture parts of the country still loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi.

Mustafa Abdul Jalil told the BBC that the ousted leader was in southern Libya and planning revenge attacks.

A written message attributed to Col Gaddafi appealed to the UN to stop "crimes" against his birthplace Sirte.

Meanwhile, senior officials from Nato countries are due to visit Tripoli.

"We say to the leaders coming tomorrow (Thursday) that they will be safe," Mr Abdul Jalil said.

Earlier, the US said it was encouraged by the increasing control the NTC was exercising over security forces in the country.

'Fierce battles'

Gaddafi loyalists still control four areas, including Sirte on the Mediterranean coast, and Bani Walid, south-east of the capital Tripoli, as well as Jufra and Sabha.

Mr Abdul Jalil said many pro-Gaddafi forces had fled to Sabha in the southern desert.

"There will be fierce battles in Sabha with equipment that we do not yet have, and we ask for more equipment to retake these places," said Mr Abdul Jalil.

He said Col Gaddafi had possession of "all the gold" and would be planning attacks on cities, oil fields and power plants.

Col Gaddafi has previously said he would rather die than flee Libya.

NTC officials say members of the former leader's inner circle took gold and cash with them when they fled south across the border to Niger last week.

Mr Abdul Jalil was speaking in his first BBC interview since moving to Tripoli at the weekend from the anti-Gaddafi stronghold of Benghazi.

He confirmed that the NTC would not move the whole of its administration to Tripoli until the last pockets of pro-Gaddafi resistance had been captured.

Earlier, he held talks with senior US envoy Jeffrey Feltman, who pledged Washington's support for the NTC and said the US would reopen its embassy in the capital as soon as possible.

"We remain encouraged by growing command and control over security and police forces," said Mr Feltman, the assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs.

Mr Feltman said the US was working with Libya on the control of conventional weapons such as shoulder-fired missiles.

The Americans were also talking to the Libyans about the risk from non-conventional weapons such as mustard agent and toxic chemical precursors, he said.

These had in the past been accounted for by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Warfare.

Meanwhile, a Syrian TV channel sympathetic to Col Gaddafi has broadcast a message purporting to be from the fugitive leader.

"Terrorism and destruction exercised by Nato on the Sirte area is beyond description and has no match in past history of wars," said the written message, which was read out by a presenter.

"You must bear your international responsibility and intervene immediately to stop this crime."

The presenter said the letter had been signed: "Muammar Gaddafi, the leader of the revolution."

Nato has been carrying out air strikes under a mandate from two UN resolutions to protect Libyan civilians.

At least 36 members of Col Gaddafi's inner circle, including relatives and generals, have fled to neighbouring Algeria and Niger since Tripoli fell to NTC forces last month.

With roads to Tunisia, Egypt, Chad and Sudan largely controlled by anti-Gaddafi forces, Niger has been used as an exit route by Gaddafi loyalists - including his son Saadi

Anti-Gaddafi fighters say they have captured the northern half of Bani Walid but have struggled to push further.