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

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' 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.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid