Four Killed as Old Regime’s Flag Is Raised in Town
by Jason Ditz, January 23, 2012
Major fighting has broken out in the Libyan town of Bani Walid this weekend, and reports indicate at least in the near term, that it has fallen to fighters loyal to the former government of Moammar Gadhafi.
The same reports say at least four people have been killed in the fighting, and dozens wounded. The green flag of the former regime is now flying over the town, one of the last few that fell to the NTC during the NATO-backed civil war.
It is unclear from the reports whether the fighters were simply supporters of the former regime, or if they were remnants of the old Libyan military. NTC forces in the town said they had been warning about the prospect of a fight for months.
When the fighting finally broke out, NTC forces in the town petitioned for reinforcements, but none came. They finally withdrew when they ran low on ammunition. Libyan Defense Minister Osama Jweli says he will not order a new attack on the town until it is determined that the forces are indeed Gadhafi remnants and not merely some rival militia. Militia from Misrata on the northern coast, known to be a particularly aggressive faction, were sent to the area to blockade the town in the meantime.