BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam called his father frequently on the telephone and increasingly feared being hit by a mortar as he tried to escape from the besieged town of Bani Walid last week, an officer who had been with him told Reuters on Tuesday.
“He was nervous. He had a Thuraya (satellite phone) and he called his father many times,” said al-Senussi Sharif al-Senussi, a lieutenant in Gaddafi’s army who was part of Saif’s security team in Bani Walid until the city fell on October 17.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – As fireworks celebrating Muammar Gaddafi’s death light up Tripoli’s central square, party-goer Hani Nuwara has already set his sights on his next target, with fears that traditional tribal rivalries will become the enemy within.
For eight months Libyans across the country put aside their complex tribal and cultural divisions to fight for a common good but many are concerned that the ousting of Gaddafi will re-ignite these rivalries and mar the path to democracy.
TRIPOLI/NORTH OF BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) – Libya’s interim rulers said they had captured one of Muammar Gaddafi’s last strongholds deep in the Sahara desert, finding chemical weapons, and largely taken control of another.
In another boost, the National Transitional Council (NTC) had an unexpected windfall when it found $23 billion worth of assets left unspent by Gaddafi in Libya’s central bank, the Financial Times reported on Thursday, citing officials in London and Tripoli.
TRIPOLI/NORTH OF BANI WALID, Libya, Sept 21 (Reuters) -
Libya’s interim rulers said on Wednesday they had captured most
of one of Muammar Gaddafi’s last strongholds, a boost to an
administration struggling to assert full control over the
Sabha — deep in the Sahara desert — had been holding out
along with Bani Walid and Gaddafi’s hometown Sirte since the
fall of the capital Tripoli a month ago.
NEW YORK / BANI WALID Libya (Reuters) – President Barack Obama called on Tuesday for the last of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to lay down their arms as he announced the return of the U.S. ambassador to Tripoli and pledged to help Libya rebuild.
“Today, the Libyan people are writing a new chapter in the life of their nation,” Obama said in prepared remarks for a high-level United Nations conference on Libya.
NORTH OF BANI WALID, Libya (Reuters) – Battlefield bedlam has become part of daily life. Troops advance without orders. Nervous fighters shoot randomly. Where is the artillery? Who is in charge? No one knows.
Days of messy battles have failed to dislodge Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists form the desert enclave of Bani Walid, but commanders of the interim Libyan government’s forces besieging the town say they are now determined to enforce order and discipline, and contain their unruly fighters.
SIRTE / BANI WALID Libya, Sept 20 (Reuters) – Libyan
provisional government forces held off from attacking Muammar
Gaddafi’s last bastions in the country on Tuesday as civilians
kept streaming out ahead of more assaults.
There were occasional skirmishes outside Gaddafi’s hometown
Sirte on Tuesday, Reuters witnesses said, and doctors at a
nearby field hospital said four National Transitional Council
(NTC) fighters had been killed by pro-Gaddafi shelling.
BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Libya’s interim
government said on Monday its forces had seized the airport and
fort in Sabha, one of the last strongholds of forces loyal to
Muammar Gaddafi which also controls the main route south out of
“Our forces are there in the airport and in the castle …
Our flags are flying there,” Ahmed Bani, a military spokesman
for the National Transitional Council (NTC), told a news
conference in Tripoli. It was not possible to obtain independent
BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya (Reuters) – France denied on Monday that it had mercenaries in Libya, after Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists said they had captured 17 foreigners — some British and French — in the fight for a town still held by the ousted leader’s followers.
The claim by Gaddafi’s spokesman Moussa Ibrahim that foreign security personnel had been captured in the battle for the pro-Gaddafi bastion Bani Walid could not be verified and no immediate proof was presented.
BENGHAZI/BANI WALID, Libya, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Fugitive
ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists said on Monday
they had captured 17 mercenaries — some British and French –
in what would amount to a sharp setback for the country’s new
rulers and their international backers.
The claim by Gaddafi spokesman Moussa Ibrahim could not be
verified but comes at a time when the new authorities are facing
stark reversals on the battlefield and in the political arena.