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Bani Walid assault imminent, says NTC

Reuters/Zohra Bensemra

In Libya, forces opposing ousted leader Moamer Kadhafi say they are close to capturing Bani Walid, one of four towns still under the control of loyalist fighters. The interim government had given towns still loyal to Kadhafi until Saturday to surrender and on-off talks over the town’s fate have been going on for days. 


A number of former regime officials, including Kadhafi's spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, are believed to be in Bani Walid.

National Transiational Council, NTC, forces were reported to be gathering near the town while fighters returning from the front say there were clashes between NTC "sleeper cells" and pro-Kadhafi forces in and near the town overnight

According to chief NTC negotiator Abdullah Kenshil, "the attack will take place, but its timing will be decided by military leaders on the ground."

On Friday, a top NTC commander said "decisive military action" was imminent.

Meanwhile, Niger has confirmed having allowed a dozen Kadhafi aides, including
internal security chief Mansour Daw, into the country for "humanitarian reasons."

They are being held under house arrest in Niamey.

On Friday, a source from Niger's ethnic Tuareg community in Niamey said a number of Libyan generals loyal to Kadhafi are now in Burkina Faso after transiting Niger.


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