Libya: Assault on Gaddafi bastion ends in chaotic retreat

By REUTERS
September 18, 2011 21:39

 
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BANI WALID/SIRTE, Libya - Libyan interim government forces fled on Sunday in a chaotic retreat from the town of Bani Walid, after failing in yet another attempt to storm the final bastions of loyalists of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Since taking the capital Tripoli last month, motley forces of the ruling National Transitional Council have met stiff resistance in Bani Walid and Gaddafi's birthplace Sirte, which they must capture before they can declare Libya "liberated".

Anti-Gaddafi fighters have tried several times to storm Bani Walid, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Tripoli, in recent days only to retreat in disorder under fire from defenders. Sunday's failed attempt appeared to be among the worst yet, setting off angry recriminations among the attackers.

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