Sultana (Libya): Dozens of new Libyan regime fighters have stormed the town of Sultana, braving rocket and artillery attacks from retreating forces of Muammar Gaddafi, marking another victory in their march towards Sirte.

Shouting the war cry "Allahu Akbar!", "Allah is greater" -and "Hold your heads high, you are Libyans!" the fighters drove into the town -- site of steady fighting over the past two days -- pushing Gaddafi's diehards back towards Sirte, some 30 kilometres (20 miles) to the west on Monday.

"They want a war, they are getting one. We will kick their butts," says one of the fighters, Saleh Drisi, as he jumped from his pick-up truck and barged into a house, searching for Gaddafi loyalists.

The two-storey house is deserted as he moves from one room to another.

Over the past two days the fighters of Libya's interim ruling body, the National Transitional Council (NTC), have steadily moved towards Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, from the east.

The fighters are from the eastern city of Benghazi, the initial epicentre of the rebellion which toppled the now fugitive Gaddafi.

The deserted town of Sultana shows signs of steady fighting between the two groups.

Several collapsed houses, walls with bullet holes and compounds with craters where artillery shells and rockets, fired from both sides, have struck are grim testimony to the last two days of firefights.

The NTC fighters quickly take positions and spread out in the town, searching each house even as pro-Gaddafi forces continue shelling the red and white cement houses of the town from a distance.

"There won't be any of them left now. They have retreated," says Mustafa bin Dardef, the commander leading the team of fighters, as a rocket slams behind him, just metres (yards) away.

Several fighters, now experienced from months of fierce battles, hit the ground instantly.

(Agencies)