News / Middle East

Libya's NTC Forces Take Most of Gadhafi Stronghold

An anti-Gaddafi fighter reads the Koran at a checkpoint north of Bani Walid. (file photo)
An anti-Gaddafi fighter reads the Koran at a checkpoint north of Bani Walid. (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

Libya's NTC forces are claiming to have taken most of the town of Bani Walid, where loyalists to former leader Moammar Gadhafi have been holed up and mounting a spirited resistance since late August. Fierce resistance by Gadhafi loyalists continues, however, in the coastal enclave of Sirte.

Interim government forces fired shells and mortar bombs at a pocket of resistance inside the coastal town of Sirte Monday, amid fierce fighting by a small but tenacious band of loyalists to Mr. Gadhafi. Farther south, interim government forces are claiming to control 85 percent of the Gadhafi stronghold of Bani Walid.

Reports say the Warfalla tribe, Libya's largest, is trying to negotiate the surrender of Bani Walid with the NTC. The tribe, to which Mr. Gadhafi's wife belongs, is seeking a deal with Libya's new rulers.

Col. Abdullah Naker, who heads the Tripoli Revolutionary Council told journalists that NTC fighters have taken the center of Bani Walid, where they raised the flag of the new interim government.

Naker says NTC forces are making progress in finishing off resistance from Gadhafi loyalists in Sirte, but he is worried that one of Mr. Gadhafi's sons, who is leading the resistance there, might find a way to escape the city.

NTC gains, however, may be short-lived.

Omar Ashour, who teaches political science at the University of Exeter in Britain, says the new interim government has a weak national army and that most of the country is controlled by hundreds of small militias.

“There is a national army more or less controlled by Gen. Suleiman Mahmoud of Tobruk. The problem with it is that it's not the only armed force in Libya right now and it has very limited influence on possibly 100 or so armed militias. In Tripoli, you have a militia controlling part of the north, another militia controlling part of the south, a third militia controlling the airport, and obviously this makes things very decentralized and at some points chaotic.”

Libya's new leaders have said they will begin the political process of forming a democratic government once they have captured Sirte. But Ashour worries how armed factions could hinder that process.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid