Libya: NTC Meets Strong Resistance in Sirte and Bani Walid

Muammar Gaddafi’s loyalists have put up strong resistance to National Transitional Council, NTC, forces in the former ruler’s birthplace, Sirte, and the key bastion of Bani Walid. There was a last minute haggling, which held up the announcement of a new government in Benghazi.

On Sunday, powerful explosions and artillery fire rocked Bani Walid, with NTC commanders claiming that they have surrounded the town but that heavy fighting lasted all night.

Operations command spokesperson, Ahmed al-Zlitni, said NTC fighters were also facing a lot of resistance in Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. They advanced from the west into the city on Saturday but were forced to retreat after two hours under heavy artillery fire.

At least 10 people were reported killed and 40 wounded.

Officials said the plan to announce a new NTC government on Sunday was delayed by last-minute haggling.

They added that longstanding opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood accused interim prime minister Mahmud Jibril of failing to consult them properly.

Nato jets hit 11 targets around Sirte, 11 in the Al-Jufra oasis and three in Sabah in the south on Saturday.

Leave a Reply