News / Africa

Libya Fighters, NATO Focus on Gadhafi Strongholds

Anti-Gadhafi fighters with weapons move to the front line, 90 km east of Sirte, from Om El Qandil, 90 km west of Ras Lanuf September 6, 2011.
Anti-Gadhafi fighters with weapons move to the front line, 90 km east of Sirte, from Om El Qandil, 90 km west of Ras Lanuf September 6, 2011.

Libyan fighters are continuing negotiations with leaders from one of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi's last remaining strongholds, as NATO forces say they have bombed another pro-Gadhafi holdout.

NATO on Wednesday said its warplanes bombed several tanks and other armored vehicles around Gadhafi's hometown, Sirte. The first fighting in days was reported near Sirte on Tuesday, but National Transitional Council (NTC) commanders said the clashes did not mark the launch of an all-out bid to capture the city.

In the desert outpost of Bani Walid, negotiators from Libya's NTC say they are committed to avoiding bloodshed where they are pressing tribal elders tied to Gadhafi's former rule to surrender.

Town elders and NTC representatives met Tuesday for talks at a mosque on the town's outskirts, but elders were later confronted by angry citizens, including Gadhafi supporters, who fired into the air and sent them fleeing.

Meanwhile, conflicting reports have emerged about whether a large convoy carrying forces loyal to Gadhafi has crossed into neighboring Niger.

Three high-ranking officials from Niger late Tuesday denied media reports that more than 200 military vehicles from Libya had entered the country, saying only three cars had crossed the frontier.

The New York Times quotes Niger's justice minister, Marou Amadou, as saying the convoy consisted of "three vehicles maximum" and was unarmed. The head of Gadhafi's security brigades, Mansour Dhao, and several companions are the only people known to have crossed into Niger.

The Associated Press quotes the chief of staff of Niger's president as saying that when Dhao crossed the border he was escorted to Niamey and is being housed in a villa under constant surveillance.

The chief of staff said witnesses who reported seeing dozens of vehicles in the convoy had confused them with those sent by Niger's government to escort the Libyans. He also described "waves" of returnees crossing over from Libya as mostly Tuareg fighters who are nationals of Niger and Mali and had fought for Gadhafi in the recent war.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department said a group of vehicles carrying a dozen or more senior leaders from Gadhafi's government, including military commanders, was heading toward Niger's capital, Niamey. A spokeswoman said Gadhafi himself is not in the convoy, confirming an earlier statement from Niger's foreign minister.

Niamey is in Niger's southwestern corner near Burkina Faso, whose government said Tuesday it has not offered Gadhafi asylum, contrary to some news reports.

Leaders in the African Sahel will discuss Libya Wednesday during a security conference in Algeria.  The Algerian minister for Africa and the Maghreb said the region must figure out how to deal with the "new situation" caused by the crisis.  The leaders also plan to discuss al-Qaida's threat to the region.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs