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Families evacuate Bani Walid

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 01:36

Sept 12 - Families flee the pro-Gaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid amid accusations Gaddafi forces are targeting civilians, while the NTC says the plan is to hold off on an all-out assault. Nick Rowlands reports

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Forces loyal to Libya's ruling interim council man a checkpoint just north of Bani Walid, one of the last remaining pro-Gaddafi strongholds. Residents fleeing the violence speak of neighbourhoods and civilians coming under fire. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BANI WALID RESIDENT, ABDULLAH MOHAMED: "Gaddafi forces have been targeting civilians. The reason we had to leave is because they were shooting right into our courtyards. So we were forced to move away." They say parts of Bani Walid have been liberated, but that fighting is continuing in areas still controlled by pro-Gaddafi forces. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BANI WALID RESIDENT, ALI MOKHTAR AL-KHALIDI: "They have taken positions in the area where we were staying, but the other end, it was coming under fire and one could easily get killed -- I did not see anyone getting shot, but I have heard from others." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) BANI WALID RESIDENT WHO REFUSED TO GIVE HER NAME: "Our courtyard came under fire yesterday, so we could not take it anymore -- the children could not take it anymore. They are scared." National Transitional Council forces trying to take the town believe the local Warfalla tribe - the largest and most powerful in Libya - may be passing information on to pro-Gaddafi fighters. A spokesman for the NTC said the plan for now is to wait. Nick Rowlands, Reuters

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Families evacuate Bani Walid

Monday, September 12, 2011 - 01:36