News / Middle East

Libyan Fighters Surround Gadhafi Stronghold

Rebels reinforcements from Tripoli goes through a checkpoint between Tarhouna and Bani Walid, towards the front in Bani Walid, Libya, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.
Rebels reinforcements from Tripoli goes through a checkpoint between Tarhouna and Bani Walid, towards the front in Bani Walid, Libya, Monday, Sept. 5, 2011.

Reinforcements for Libyan provisional authority fighters headed Monday toward one of the last remaining strongholds of ousted leader Moammar Gadhafi.

There are reports that negotiations aimed at persuading Gadhafi loyalists to peacefully surrender the desert town of Bani Walid have broken down. But there is confusion about what lies ahead: local commanders speak of deadlines both short and long, some passing without notice.

Thousands of provisional authority fighters wait outside Bani Walid, about 170 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tripoli, as representatives for pro- and anti-Gadhafi forces try to conduct on and off discussions to end the standoff.

For days, Western media have reported that Mr. Gadhafi and key advisers could be in or around the town.

Meanwhile, officials in Niger, Libya's southern neighbor, say the head of Mr. Gadhafi's security brigades has crossed into the country.  They say Mansour Dhao was traveling with several other Libyans whose identities were not released.  

A source told the French news agency the group of Libyans did not include any of Mr. Gadhafi's sons or other close relatives.

A negotiator for the National Transitional Council (Abdullah Kanshil) said talks failed Sunday when pro-Gadhafi tribal elders rejected an offer to have medical supplies brought into Bani Walid on the condition that provisional authority fighters enter the town. He said they insisted that anti-Gadhafi fighters enter the town without their weapons.

Bani Walid is dominated by Libya's largest tribe, the Warfalla, which helped anchor Mr. Gadhafi's nearly 42-year rule. However, many of the anti-Gadhafi fighters encircling the town are also Warfalla members.

The NTC has extended a deadline for all opponents to lay down their weapons until next Saturday.  NTC officials hope they can avoid laying siege to civilian areas.  But some fighters surrounding Bani Walid say they have heard conflicting reports that an attack might come sooner.

NATO on Monday said it bombed several targets overnight near Sirte, another Gadhafi stronghold that has not fallen to provisional authority fighters. NATO has carried out airstrikes against pro-Gadhafi forces since March under a U.N. mandate to protect civilians.

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

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Troops Depart

Afghans are grappling with how exodus will affect country's fragile economy More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer 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