Libyan forces deploy around former Gaddafi stronghold


His relatives said he had been shot and tortured while in their hands. The ruling national congress ordered the Defence and Interior Ministries to find those who abducted him. Leaders in Bani Walid have been given until Friday to hand them over and elders had traveled to the town for negotiations.

The renewed tension comes at a difficult time for Libyan leaders, trying to impose order on armed groups after the killing of the U.S. ambassador in a fatal assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on September 11.

“The congress has given the Defence and Interior Ministries the order to follow up on what happened,” Ramadan Ali Zarmoh, of the Misrata military council, told Reuters.

“The forces are only surrounding it for now … What happens next depends on the decision from the congress. Maybe a solution can still be negotiated.”

The forces, who militia fighters said were from Misrata and other towns, are operating together in a coalition known as Libya Shield, affiliated to the Defence Ministry.

An army official said clashes broke out late on Tuesday between a former rebel fighters and a local Bani Walid group in which three people were injured in the nearby area of Mardun. He said the rebel fighters were not part of Libya Shield.

Bani Walid resident Masoud Al-Waar said one person was killed. He said negotiations in the town were now under way. “Elders from around Libya are negotiating with elders in Bani Walid to find a solution,” he said by telephone.

Shaban was freed after mediation efforts by congress head Mohammed Magarief. He was flown in a critical condition to a Paris hospital but died a week ago.

While Misrata spent weeks under siege by Gaddafi’s forces during last year’s fighting, Bani Walid was one of the last towns to the 15 teams to join host South Africa at next year’s finals from an initial field of 46. The games will be played Oct. 13 and 14.

Related posts