Benghazi: Libya's victorious rebels prepared to unveil a new government on Sunday even as their troops met fierce resistance from loyalists of fugitive strongman Muammar Gaddafi in his last strongholds.

The new regime's military spokesman, Ahmed Bani, said Gaddafi diehards in his hometown Sirte and the oasis of Bani Walid to its southwest would be defeated in a "matter of days," despite the intensity of the fighting.

Last-minute haggling delayed the announcement of the new government line-up, a National Transitional Council official said.

NTC number two Mahmud Jibril, a former Gaddafi regime official, stood accused by some of his colleagues of failing to consult enough with long-standing grass roots opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, the official said.

Jibril was still expected to retain his post as interim Prime Minister, while Ali Tarhuni was touted to be named vice president in charge of economic affairs.

The defence portfolio was expected to go to Osama al-Juwili and oil to Abdel Rahman bin Yezza.

Fighters loyal to the new government prepared for a new advance on Sirte on the Mediterranean coast.

Troops moving in from the east planned an assault around the village of Harawa that would bring them to within 50 to 60 kilometres of Sirte, operations command spokesman Ahmed
al-Zlitni said.

"Yesterday we faced a lot of resistance and we expect the same today," Zlitni said.

The advancing NTC troops came under steady rocket and machine-gun fire from Gaddafi loyalists today, a media report said.

(Agencies)