Gaddafi loyalists seize Libyan city

2012-01-25 10:22

Benghazi - Muammar Gaddafi loyalists seized control of a Libyan mountain city in the most serious challenge to the central government since the strongman's fall, underlining the increasing weakness of Libya's Western-backed rulers as they try to unify the country under their authority.

The taking of Bani Walid, one of the last Gaddafi strongholds captured by the new leadership late last year, was the first such organized operation by armed remnants of Gaddafi's regime.

A simultaneous outbreak of shootings in the capital and Libya's second largest city Benghazi raised authorities' concerned that other networks of loyalists were active elsewhere.

The security woes add to the difficulties of the ruling National Transitional Council, which is struggling to establish its authority and show Libyans progress in stability and good government. Bani Walid's fall comes after violent protests in Benghazi, where Libyans angry over lack of reform stormed the NTC headquarters and trashed offices.

Revolutionary fighters killed

In Bani Walid, hundreds of well-equipped and highly trained remnants of Gaddafi's forces battled for eight hours on Monday with the local pro-NTC revolutionary brigade, known as the May 28 Brigade, said Mubarak al-Fatmani, the head of Bani Walid local council. The brigade was driven out and Gaddafi loyalists then raised their old green flag over buildings in the western city.

Four revolutionary fighters were killed and 25 others were wounded in the fighting, al-Fatmani said.
There were no immediate signs that the uprising was part of some direct attempt to restore the family of Gaddafi, who was swept out of power in August and then killed in the nearby city of Sirte in October.

His sons, daughter and wife have been killed, arrested or have fled to neighbouring countries.

Instead, the fighting seemed to reflect a rejection of NTC control by a city that never deeply accepted its rule, highlighting the still unresolved tensions between those who benefited under Gaddafi's regime and those now in power.

Those tensions are tightly wound up with tribal and regional rivalries around the country.

The May 28 Brigade had kept only a superficial control over the city, the head of Bani Walid's military council, Abdullah al-Khazmi, acknowledged.

"The only link between Bani Walid and the revolution was May 28, now it is gone and 99% of Bani Walid people are Gaddafi loyalists," he said.

Mass evacuations from town

The fighters who captured the city on Monday night belong to Brigade 93, a militia newly created by Gaddafi loyalists who reassembled after the fall of the regime, said al-Khazmi and al-Fatmani. The fighters, flush with cash and heavy weaponry including incendiary bombs, have been increasing in power in the city, they said.

There was no possibility to confirm their claims. However, there were no mass evacuations from the town after the clashes, an indication that the residents appear to accept the new arrangement, said Ali al-Fatmani, a revolutionary brigade commander in Bani Walid.

Authorities in Benghazi, where the NTC is centred, appeared concerned that the Bani Walid uprising could have sent a signal to other cells of Gaddafi forces.

An AP reporter who was present in the Benghazi operation room heard military commanders on Monday saying co-ordinated incidents of drive-by shootings in Tripoli and, to a lesser extent, Benghazi erupted as news of the Bani Walid takeover spread.

In Tripoli, some shops closed, and fighters responsible for security in the capital were on a state of alert over the shootings.

  • Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 10:34

    Libya will be GREEN again!

      Ruben - 2012-01-25 10:37

      That will never happen!

      Andres - 2012-01-25 10:58

      By planting lots of trees and crops I hope? Despite whether you side with NATO, the AU or another solution; fact remains, Gaddafi was "not very nice" to his people and was not democratically elected leader of the Libyan people.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 11:09

      Indeed Mthuthuzeli.., I bet you also say the ANC will rule till Jesus comes, Julius Malema is a future president of SA, Robert Mugabe is a saint, the Chinese have a right to torture people at will, North Korea is a happy place, Cuba is a financial prodigy and that the earth is flat. Happy trolling...

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:10

      @Andres And what did the AU say? What did resolution 1973 say? Cease fire, sit down and negotiate a new path. Instead we have a country whose infrastructure has been destroyed by European bombs and divided along tribal lines with millions of weapons unaccounted for. The same fools are salivating to do the same thing in Syria and Iran as they have done in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:25

      You're the one trolling Spyker. You can twist and distort what I've said as much as you like, the way I have come to my opinion is easily legible.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 11:52

      Mthuthuzeli - what is "legible" in Pedi..? All that is 'twisted' and 'distorted' is your view, your mind and your understanding of what constitutes a sustainable future. Not that I am assuming "sustainable future" features anywhere in the Pedi Compendium of Great Economic- and Scientific achievements; and that is unfortunately not the three page ANCYL-issued textbook called "Two Steps to Smash a Goat's Head In While Sodomising a Minor".

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:59

      Buza kunyoko! All in all a fairly lame piece of trolling for a debate that I frankly couldn't be bothered with, I've seen the same trolls use the same strategy over and over and it's starting to wear thin.

      Andres - 2012-01-25 12:00

      @Mthuthuzeli, your first comment insinuates Gadaffi was a saint. He was a tyrant. Never did I say NATO was right, or that the AU was right. I simply stated, the former statesman should not be celebrated, but rather one should focus on a prosperous future for the Libyan people. Do not put words in my mouth!

      Tim - 2012-01-25 12:26

      @Andres: Mthuthuzeli is right. Libya was f**ucked for oil by Europe. They couldn't give a damn about democracy as long as their oil supply was secure. Do you honestly believe nato would have liberated (read bombed) Libya if Gaddafi supported Europe and ensured their oil security? That was colonialism in its worst form...but hey..the Libyans are free now :)

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 12:27

      @Andres The Al Fateh revolution gave the Libyan people a taste of the dignity that comes with true independence and real sovereignty. Africans celebrate Gaddafi because a Libyan investments ($350 million) was crucial in the implementation of the first telecommunications satellite Rascom (Regional African Satellite Communications Organization), which entered into orbit in August 2010, allowing African countries to begin to become independent from the U.S. and European satellite networks, with an annual savings of $400 millions payable to a French corporation. That is what it means to finally throw off the yoke of colonialism and imperialism, and that is what Libya dared to do under the leadership of Muammar Qaddafi. And Qaddafi dared to extend this vision to the entire African continent. P.S. Tuition at Al Fateh University was 16 dinars per year–about $9 and you call this suffering.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 13:03

      Ha, ha, ha, ha.., Mthuthuzeli, you are even a bigger fool than what I thought. Qaddafi was likely the richest individual on earth - ever. Possibly up to 3 x as rich as Carlos Slim - previously thought to be the richest. The numbers you are claiming (even assuming it is correct) is simply pocket money ($200 -$300 Billion, almost all in offshore assets- and/or accounts - so much for the 'real' African Brother-Leader that does not even trust his own). Qaddafi had uncontested personal control over the largest oil reserves in Africa for the past 41 years - this was the source of his/-family's wealth, while his people thought he lived in a tent and duped accordingly, they lived largely on the thin edge of a VERY modest existence. Qaddafi's aim was simply to establish himself as the supreme ruler of the ENTIRE African continent - in his 'Hitler'-like reverie, he called it.., wait.., listen to this.., The UNITED STATES OF ... ... AFRICA. He even pictured Condoleezza Rice at his side. The reality is: he was a bona fide freak and a de facto 'WAR CRIMINAL'.

      Andres - 2012-01-25 13:30

      Yes Mthuthuzeli... anything that is Anti-European is good; even if it's "African advancement" whilst plundering the resources of the people. The new colonialists of Africa are corrupt leaders, plundering governments and Chinese greed... WAKE UP!

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 14:00

      @Andres I am not anti-west. I am anti-western hegemony and imperialism in Africa. Your are spot on about corrupt leaders who haven't invested anything in their people and countries. The Chinese colonialism is a fallacy. Africans have lived under the western boot for over 400 years now. After all how would you like it if the shoe were on the other foot and western countries' faite depended on the whims of Africans?

      Barry - 2012-01-25 14:14

      It certainly shows the country was far better off with Gaddafi in charge.

      Anthony - 2012-01-25 14:48

      Strange .............!!!! The Elders of Bani Walid deny that there is much support there for that gaddafi THUG. There are obvious a few gaddafi terrorists around, but the unrest is mainly with the ones oposed to the NTC rule. That is not that surprising , as the NTC is a hastely formed coalition of many different sections of the Libyan population, with only ONE main common factor; To get rid of that criminal gaddsaf family. Now that gaddafi made his exit on the back of a bakkie and that lovely corrupt son of his, will rot in jail, it will take years and years to get some stability and normality in Libya. The by far the majority of Libyans are over joyed with the start of a new Libya. But they must be getting soo sick and tired reading all this continous crap being talked about them, what supposngly would be their African brothers, but now are their enemies !!!!!!

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 15:03

      The Chinese colonialism is NOT a fallacy. The fallacy is: "Africans" have lived under the "western boot" for over 400 years. In fact it is a simple lie. Inter alia.., European Africans only moved into the South African interior around 170 years ago. Here they seek cooperation with Africans tribes, yet they were brutally slaughtered in return for their benevolent approach - viz the Dingaan atrocities. European Africans were subsequently left with no other choice but to employ a means to protect themselves according to the demands of the environment. The Sino-Neocolonialism will dwarf (no pun intended) what was deemed traditional colonisation. While young people in the USA go to Summer Camp, in China they go to Labour Camps - here they are tortured, force-fed (if they dare to go on hunger strike), work non-stop 16 hour-days-365.25-days-a-year, answer the call of nature in the single set of clothes they have, are not allowed to wash themselves (ever) and so forth. Chinese bosses shoot you if you strike - numerous accounts across Africa, etc. Under the Yellow-Monster, you will yearn for the 'good old days', before 1994. So I suggest you think VERY, VERY, carefully what you wish for... BTW: Nobody ever stopped Africa, from colonising Europe, 300-400 years ago. I fear though, while Europeans travelled the end of the earth (at the time), Africans did not know anything existed beyond the horizon, let alone comprehend the concept of a horizon (ie as little as 170 years ago).

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 20:01

      There is nothing in your comment that warrants a serious effort to respond. Have a nice day.

      Anthony - 2012-01-26 07:43

      @Mhuthuzeli, Exactly !!!

  • Phumi - 2012-01-25 10:36

    Confirming once more that the African Union was right. Lybia needs a negotiated settlement and a government of national unity and not this western sponsored sham called the NTC!

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:01

      Some of us kept saying here that this foreign driven regime change in Libya will lead to mayhem because the so called rebels(contras) were not an organized, pro-democratic force but violent, disorganised and undisciplined force egged on by foreigners with not the majority support that was portrayed by the western media.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 11:35

      You are a fool beyond comprehension - but then again, you vote for the ANC, so it is a verity and not a surprise... Where do the rogue militia that is reportedly occupying Bani Walid get the CASH..? Did they go to their nearest autobank or did they perhaps take out a 2nd mortgage..? No, you fool - it come from foreign sources. And it would not be a far fetched notion to consider the sources to be some of the ANC's greatest FIENDISH FREAK FRIENDS - eg Mad Bob, equally Mad Mahmoud (Ahmadinejad), Hooligan Hugo (Chávez), the new little Poop-head from North Korea (perhaps even as a clandestine channel for China), Pakistan and other lunatics from the globe's rogue states. Nato has the unenviable task of keeping the world a safe place by rooting out the weed. Mmmm.., the weed is green.., very interesting. The Mediterranean is Europe's front 'yard' - they have every right to remove the rubbish...

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:47

      No one has asked NATO to police them except Europeans and Americans. You do a good job of expressing the psychosis that a warmongering Humanitarian suffers from. Wonderful. Bombing people to save them, what an oxymoron.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 12:09

      Oxymoron..? As opposed to you just being a ..MORON..? How about the majority of Libyans asking for Nato's intervention.., or perhaps the fact that Dead Qaddafi slaughtered his own people - unarmed, defenceless civilians who exercised their fundamental right to protest - the event that set the entire 'Libyan' matter in motion. Perhaps you have heard of "protest" (not sure what it is in Pedi - but I know it is the same word as "steal from hardworking honest people only"). Qaddafi practiced a brand of Apartheid that made Apartheid look like a 'school-picnic'. But your kind was overtly happy for the "West" to interfere in SA, when it suited your scheme to steal from those who took southern Africa from a feral wasteland to a 1st world economy (that your kind are now taking back to where it was found 350 years ago) - now suddenly you are jumping around like a tsotsi that has just stolen a wallet, criticising the 'West' for intervening (legitimately this time). It is this brand of hypocrisy that makes your kind such incorrigible retards...

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 12:19

      We saw millions of Libyan people in support to Gaddafi go out in protest against Nato and the rebels attacks. That's why the AU promoted an inclusive transitional process leading to free, inclusive and open elections. You are an incorrigible wretch of a Low Life too full of your self esteem, too arrogant, too egoistic and too stupid to even realize what you really are.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 12:32

      No, Mthuthuzeli.., Only YOU saw 'millions' of Libyan people in support to Gaddafi. The rest of the sane world saw a relatively small force of Qaddafi's elite cadre's, supported by rogue forces (eg from Zimbabwe) defending their 'sacred CASH COW' and little else. The ANC must still be dusted in ashes - Qaddafi's billions was supposed to pay for the Mangaung Johhny Walker.., now all that is left, are the bones of a dead cow and a bankrupted metro municipality... Here is some sincere advice - your kind has at least 5000 years of evolution to catch up with, I suggest you spend your energies wiser.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 12:47

      ANC this ANC that? I don't counter rhetoric. I recognize futility in conversing with you, so sue me that your head is stuck so far up your azz I would rather verbally insult you than to give you more respect than you deserve.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 13:40

      Mthuthuzeli - coming from you, it is a compliment... The ANC is frankly, the pivotal matter here – for what other conceivable reason would you so concerned about Libya..? Re YOUR rhetoric about the West – the EU is still SA’s biggest foreign trading partner, yielding annual numbers that makes Qaddafi’s (supposed) investment (to be diplomatic) look notably diminutive (if even comparable). It is the sanctions imposed by the West that ended Apartheid – nothing else. So I suggest you go onto your scrawny knees, do one of your macabre ancestral rituals and then thank the “West”, as if it was not for the “West” you would NOT be having an opportunity to practice your verbal inanities...

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 13:53

      Drivel...... mindless drivel from start to finish!

  • Vegi - 2012-01-25 10:38

    This is good news. This is a blow to Obama.

      procold2 - 2012-01-25 11:26

      how do you figure.

  • cosmos.ndebele - 2012-01-25 10:38

    We knew this would come again once those crusaders left with their jets, Libya faces a long brutal civil war created by the oil seeking western countries

  • tyronlouw - 2012-01-25 10:47

    Honestly, what is the best these guys are hoping for? When you've been beaten, sit in your corner and shut-up. You are embarrassing yourselves. Of course, this would be like talking to a wall though.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:03

      The NTC is scared of BaniWalid. The cowards relied on Nato for all theior victories.

      Moss - 2012-01-25 11:38

      You asking a very stupid question Tyron. In a war what are you hoping for? don't answer, got your answer already

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 12:20

      No moziz - you are the idiot, overtly so. Tyron is 100% correct - what are they hoping to achieve, it simply boggles the mind. But then again, they share a trait that has now become the leading currency in SA, viz.., The forward vision of a blind person with his head on back to front...

  • Mashudu - 2012-01-25 10:58

    It just shows why Gaddafi is African strongest Man!

      Mike - 2012-01-25 11:15

      He's dead Mashudu. Dust to dust.

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:27

      A human life does not end on earth with death. It continues in the minds and the deeds of friends, as well as in the thoughts and the activity of the nation.

      Spyker - 2012-01-25 11:40

      Dear G@D.., is this an ASTROTURFING TROLL PARADE - they are crawling out of the holes it seems...

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 11:48

      Get some new insults please!

      Andres - 2012-01-25 13:42

      Africa's strongest man is the man who colonises the minds of the masses.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-25 15:45

      I guess he now is one of the ancestors. LOL!

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 15:55

      Technically yes, just like your deceased relatives or Oupa.

  • Whitty - 2012-01-25 11:42

    Anyone give us the genetic proof that Gaddafi is dead.

      the_gob - 2012-01-25 11:53

      Google Gaddafi execution dear... All the proof is there

  • blackjew69 - 2012-01-25 12:47

    Simply put, GADDAFFI, Mugabe, MOI _KENYA, and a few other african presidents, could see through this so called USA and Britain. This @ countries(china is emerging)come to Africa take our resources at their will and give us nothing but expensive_ UNPAYABLE LOANS. problems comes in when a president EG gaddaffi,while in office, feels insecure and surrounds himself with family and his tribes men, who obviously abuse their power and he doesnt do anything to stop. he ends up loosing the faith of the nation. he is right to resist the europeans from raping his country but he forgets to set things right in his country. Anyway, all countries go through a rough patch before getting back on their feet. may all be well in Libya and Nigeria. And whats this with some MUSLIMS wanting to force their religion on everyone all of a sudden??? We have somalia, nigeria etc ????

      Mthuthuzeli - 2012-01-25 12:56

      You see in the post colonial world there are 2 kinds of non-European leaders: those who are craven puppets and allow the West to manhandle them and their countries, and there are those who oppose the West.

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