Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Libyan town seized by Gadaffi loyalists
The town of Bani Walid is 110 miles southeast of Tripoli and was a Gadaffi stronghold. Reports from the town indicate that for now it has been seized by Gadaffi loyalists
Reports also indicate that at least four were killed and many wounded. The green flag of the Gadaffi era flies from many buildings. Bani Walid was one of the last holdouts during the overthrow of the old regime.
The fighters may be members of the old Libyan military. Those representing the new government in the town have warned for some time that there could be trouble.
When the NTC forces asked for reinforcements none came so they withdrew from the town when they ran low on ammunition. The defense minister Osama Jweli said that he would wait to determine whether the attackers were a rival militia or Gadaffi loyalists before attacking the town.
Militia from Misrata have been sent to block off access to the town. This militia is itself known for being belligerent and aggressive. Perhaps there will be a bloody retaking of the town or if cooler heads prevail there may be negotiations to allow the NTC to regain control of the city. For more see this article.