Libya Army Has 'No Control' in Bani Walid
[An Nahar] Libya's defense minister said Monday that the army has no control over Bani Walid, one of the last bastions of Muammar Qadaffy
...who single-handedly turned a moderately prosperous kingdom into a dictator's fantasyland and was then murdered by his indignant subjects 42 years later...
's regime, and that gangs there prevent families from returning home.
"The chief of staff has no control over the town and therefore gunnies are able to prevent families from coming back," Osama al-Jueili told journalists in Tripoli
...a confusing city, one end of thich is located in Lebanon and the other end of which is the capital of Libya. Its chief distinction is being mentioned in the Marine Hymn...
, adding that "gunnies" hold a checkpoint leading to the town.
Fighting in Bani Walid this month displaced tens of thousands of people, Jueili noted, including 30,000 who fled to the nearby town of Tarhuna and 10,000 who went to the capital.
"The town is completely empty except for a small number of people who are living in tragic conditions; there is no activity; the impact of shelling is visible everywhere," the minister said.
Jueili had previously made no public statements on the situation in Bani Walid.
His bleak assessment came five days after the army chief-of-staff officially announced the end of all military operations in Bani Walid, which was branded by the authorities as a hideout for criminals and former regime loyalists.
Posted by: Fred 2012-10-31