Negotiations fail for Libya's town

Monday, September 5, 2011

Pretoria - Talks for the surrender of the besieged Libyan town of Bani Walid have broken down, chief negotiator of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Abdallah Kanshil, said on Sunday.

The town is one of just a handful of areas in Libya still under the control of Gaddafi loyalists after a six-month rebellion ousted the leader from Tripoli last month.

"From my side, the negotiations are finished," Kanshil said. However, there are no comments available from the other side.

Previously, a NTC commander, Mohamed Al Fassi, said negotiations had stalled. "Those people are not serious," he said.

On Saturday, the NTC officer gave a deadline for Bani Walid inhabitants to raise the white flag by Sunday at 10am or face an all-out attack.

According to local sources, several relatives of toppled leader Muammar Gaddafi, including his son Saadi, are still in Bani Walid.

Civilians who fled the city reported that a number of pro-Gaddafi loyalists had left the city for surrounding mountains, taking heavy weaponry with them. They described the town as a "ghost town" with closed shops, and without petrol or gas.

On Saturday, chairman of the NTC, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, gave pro-Gaddafi loyalists still holding out in the towns of Sirte, Bani Walid, Al Juffra and Sebha a deadline expiring on September 10, to surrender their weapons. - BuaNews-Xinhua 

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