The United Nations Security Council has been told that urgent action is needed to prevent extremists getting hold of weapons stockpiled by the Gaddafi regime in Libya.

Head of Political Affairs at the UN Lynn Pascoe said the National Transitional Council and international agencies had to see that chemical weapons, ground-to-air missiles and other arms are made secure.

Meanwhile, anti-Gaddafi forces have seized control of the port in Sirte, the ousted Libyan leader's birthplace.

"There were clashes in the night and we now are controlling the port," said Commander Mustafa bin Dardef of the Zintan brigade, which is attached to the National Transitional Council, the new ruling body of Libya.

The capture of the port, located in eastern Sirte, marks a strategic victory for the NTC forces as they battle for control of Sirte, one of Gaddafi's last remaining strongholds.

The fight for the Mediterranean city has intensified, with NATO carrying out raids for the third consecutive day yesterday.

NTC fighters have besieged the city from the east, west and south and were today preparing for an assault on Gaddafi's compound and military bunkers.

Yesterday, NTC fighters captured a large weapons cache belonging to Gaddafi forces on the eastern outskirts of Sirte.