x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Qaddafi rallies support in Bani Walid

In a radio message, Qaddafi hailed the resistance in the bastion of Bani Walid, where Libya's NTC said 11 of its fighters were killed on Tuesday.

Libyan rebels unload a tank transported to be use to fight against Qaddafi forces, outside Bani Walid , south of Tripoli. MOHAMED MESSARA / EPA
Libyan rebels unload a tank transported to be use to fight against Qaddafi forces, outside Bani Walid , south of Tripoli. MOHAMED MESSARA / EPA

BANI WALID // National Transitional Council forces urged Nato yesterday to intensify its air war as they took heavy losses in a push on Colonel Muammar Qaddafi's birthplace of Sirte and his other bastion, Bani Walid.

In a radio message, Colonel Qaddafi hailed the resistance in Bani Walid, where the NTC said 11 of its fighters were killed on Tuesday.

While Colonel Qaddafi's whereabouts remain unknown, the Libya's defence ministry spokesman said one of the deposed leader's sons, Saif Al Islam, was in Bani Walid and another, Mutassem, was in Sirte.

Along with his father and the former intelligence chief Abdullah Al Senussi, Saif Qaddafi is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity.

Among those killed in the barrage was senior commander Daou Al Salhine Al Jadak, whose car was struck by a rocket as he headed towards the front, said the NTC chief negotiator Abdullah Kenshil.

Mr Al Jadak, one of the highest ranking NTC commanders in Bani Walid and who hailed from the town, said recently that he had been jailed for more than 18 years for helping organise a 1993 rebellion.

Yesterday, in Tripoli, the interim justice minister issued a summons for Colonel Qaddafi's former prime minister Baghdadi Al Mahmudi, who fled the country for neighbouring Tunisia.

"The prosecutor general has issued a summons for former prime minister Baghdadi Al Mahmudi," the minister, Mohammed Al Alagi, told a news conference.

Mr Al Algai also said yesterday he was ready to work with Scottish authorities to investigate the possible involvement of others in the Lockerbie bombing apart from the sole Libyan convicted for the attack.

His remark reversed a position he took only on Monday, when he said that as far as Libya was concerned the case of the bombing of the US-bound airliner over the Scottish village of Lockerbie with the loss of 270 lives was closed.

* Associated Press with additional reporting from Reuters and Agence-France Presse