Libyan officials claimed that government forces had seized control of Bani Walid, the last stronghold for supporters of the Gaddafi regime, after the city was under siege for 20 days. But sources in the town said that militias now control the area.
An RT source has described violent images of militias destroying homes with heavy machinery.
A man named Faraj, who is currently in Egypt but is in contact with relatives in Bani Walid, said that militias from Misrata, along with Islamist groups, were blockading the city.
“The militias have blocked and attacked the city and civilian people. Most of [the civilians] have run. The children and elderly are screaming for food and medicine. The [militias] killed the people and demolished houses…and they used internationally forbidden gases against the civilian people inside,” Faraj told RT.
Faraj also reported that the militias attacked the town’s electricity station and closed down mobile phone service.
Many western media outlets have reported that government forces are behind the blockade – but Faraj says that is simply not true.
“Libyan government forces did not attack Bani Walid…don’t think that it is government forces. This is Misrata militias and Islamist groups,” he said.
An activist from Bani Walid corroborated reports that local armed militias had attacked the city, not government forces.
“Our city is dying,” Afaf Yusef said in an interview with RT. “It’s just armed forces. Where is our legitimate government? They announced a country of law, a country of justice. Where are they? Why can’t we see them?”
“The situation is very difficult,” she added. “The city is almost completely destroyed. Residents are buried in the rubble. Many among the victims are children and the elderly. There are even more children than the elderly.”
Source and full story: Russia Today, 24 Oct 2012