Libya's Bani Walid attacked, 11 killed

2012-10-18 07:50
The late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. (File, AFP)

The late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Tripoli - At least 11 Libyans were killed and scores wounded in clashes on Wednesday when ex-rebels linked to the army attacked Bani Walid, a former bastion of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, local sources said.

"Clashes today left four dead and 19 wounded in the ranks of Libya Shield," said a commander of the brigade which operates under the banner of the army.

The deputy director of Bani Walid's hospital, Abdullah al-Mansuri, told AFP that his facility had received another "seven dead people and 75 wounded, including a 14-year-old girl."

"Bani Walid was shelled from three fronts today," said Massud al-Waer, a local official in Bani Walid. Dozens of residents were wounded in the assault, he told AFP.

The attack came exactly one year after former rebels declared the liberation of Bani Walid, which remained loyal to the long-time leader throughout the 2011 conflict that led to his ouster and death.

Rebels defeated Bani Walid fighters loyal to the former regime on 17 October 2011 - just three days before Gaddafi was captured and killed in his hometown of Sirte.

But many Libyans feel Bani Walid, 170km southeast of Tripoli, was never truly "liberated" and see it as a shelter for regime loyalists and criminal gangs.

The hilltop town came back into focus last month after the death of a former rebel from the city of Misrata who was credited with capturing Gaddafi and was later kidnapped, allegedly tortured and shot in Bani Walid.

The death of former rebel Omar ben Shaaban, 22, stoked tensions between Misrata and Bani Walid, neighbouring but historically rival cities which found themselves on opposite sides of the 2011 conflict.

Use of force

The General National Congress (GNC), the highest political authority, ordered the defence and interior ministries on September 25 to find those who held him hostage for weeks in Bani Walid and authorised the "use of force if necessary".

Acting on the national assembly's order, army troops and brigades made up of ex-rebels encircled Bani Walid in early October and threatened to "purge" former regime remnants.

On Wednesday, Shield Libya officers and fighters from the city of Misrata said that they had received orders to advance into Bani Walid but the army's spokesman, Colonel Ali al-Sheikhi, swiftly denied this.

"We gave no order to attack," Sheikhi told AFP, adding that the authorities wanted to give a chance for negotiations to succeed.

Later, the chief of staff said in a statement carried by the official news agency LANA that the army was in fact "ready to enter Bani Walid."

The statement called on "all parties to exercise self-restraint" so that "units of the regular army can impose the authority of the state."

Last week, tribal chiefs interviewed by AFP in Bani Walid said that they would refuse the entry of "lawless militias" into the town and stressed that there was no such thing as an army in Libya.

The new authorities, under pressure to rebuild the army and police force, have had a hard time controlling dozens of militias made up of former rebels.

Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  north africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Torch 9810

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 gives you the powerful combination of...

From R2820.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be required to travel or get information for your job. This may be restricting in some way or something may slow things...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.