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.
BENGHAZI/BANI WALID, Libya, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Libya’s
interim leaders failed to agree a new cabinet on Sunday and the
forces that forced Muammar Gaddafi from power remained bogged
down in fighting with troops loyal to the former ruler.
Interim government forces fled in chaos from the town of
Bani Walid and pulled back from Sirte after yet more failed
attempts to storm Gaddafi’s final bastions and take control of
the entire country.
BANI WALID (Reuters) – Confused orders, no central command and dissent in the ranks are holding up efforts by Libya’s provisional government to take the Muammar Gaddafi bastion of Bani Walid, fighters said.
On Sunday, ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) forces fled in a chaotic retreat from the town, after failing in another attempt to storm the desert stronghold.
BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Powerful
explosions and machinegun fire shook the besieged Libyan desert
town of Bani Walid on Sunday as Muammar Gaddafi loyalists
shelled lines held by interim government attackers.
Ill-organised forces of the ruling National Transitional
Council (NTC) have met strong resistance from the defenders of
Gaddafi’s last bastions in Bani Walid, the coastal city of Sirte
and the town of Sabha, deep in the Libyan desert.