Libya's Bani Walid shelled in standoff over rebel's death

By REUTERS
October 8, 2012 23:27

TRIPOLI - Shelling by Libyan pro-government forces has killed three people including a child in the former Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, a local militia leader said on Tuesday.

The hilltop town was one of the last to surrender last year to the rebels who overthrew Muammar Gaddafi. It has come back into focus with the death two weeks ago of rebel fighter Omran Shaban after two months of detention in Bani Walid.

Shaban, from nearby Misrata, was the man who found Gaddafi hiding in a drain. Libya's embryonic parliament, the national congress, had ordered the defense and interior ministries to find those who abducted Shaban and were suspected of torturing him to death, and given Bani Walid's militias until last Friday to hand them over.

The tensions between Misrata and Bani Walid underline the challenge Libya's new rulers face in reconciling groups with long-running grievances and embracing those who chose not to back the revolt - whether out of fear, or because they supported Gaddafi or benefited from his rule.


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