A local official told AFP on Monday that the town of Bani Walid is now totally controlled by supporters of the former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. During the attack on the town, four former rebels were killed and 20 others were injured, according to local officials.
“The brigade of 28th of May, the largest in Bani Walid is surrounded by followers of Gaddafi waving green flags and is subject to all kinds of shots,” said Mahmoud El -Werfel, spokesman for the local council of the city. “We have requested the intervention of the army, but the Ministry of Defense and the National Transitional Council have betrayed us, they left us between a rock and a hard place,” he said.
Bani Walid was the last stronghold of Colonel Gaddafi.
Yesterday, clashes in Tripoli left one person dead and five wounded. Violence regularly takes place between armed groups since the end of the conflict that toppled Gaddafi regime.
The rising number of violent incidents and the reappearance of the Gaddafi supporters come as the National Transitional Council (NTC) is going under growing challenges. A portion of the population requires the exclusion of individuals linked to the old regime, who still occupy senior positions. In Benghazi, the starting point of the revolt against Muammar Gaddafi, daily rallies have being held as protesters demand full transparency of public spending.
On Sunday, Vice President of the NTC, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga , resigned after being violently expelled Thursday from a university in Benghazi, where he was delivering a lecture. On Saturday evening, the headquarters of the NTC were invaded by demonstrators.
When Moustafa Abdeljalil, president of the NTC, tried to address the crowd, demonstrators threw towards him empty plastic bottles, forcing police to fire tear gas. Speaking later to reporters, Abdeldjalil spoke about the need to give time more to the government, which was installed two months ago. He also warned of a possible deterioration to a civil war.