Saturday, January 28, 2012

Libyan commander says will retake Bani Walid

A militia commander whose troops were driven out of the Libyan tribal stronghold of Bani Walid this week said on Friday that his forces were massing to recapture the town but were holding back at the government's request.

"It is our right to reenter Bani Walid and nobody can prevent us," Imbarak al-Futmani said in an interview with Reuters at his desert camp near Sadada, 30 miles east of Bani Walid.

Futmani's troops were pushed out by angry townsmen who he accuses of being the remnants of loyalists of Muammar Gaddafi, the former dictator who was overthrown then captured and killed in October.

Eight hundred of his men were now massed along the eastern flank of the town awaiting his orders to enter by force, said the elderly warrior, who was dressed in an ornate black and gold waistcoast, a skullcap and a white blanket over his shoulder.

Bani Walid, 90 miles south of Tripoli, was one of the last towns to surrender to the anti-Gaddafi rebellion last year. Read More