Screen grab of a video posted on YouTube by former-rebel forces from the northern Libyan city Misrata.
Deadly violence erupted earlier this week in northwestern Libya’s Bani Walid, once a stronghold of former leader Muammar Gaddafi, after Misrata-based militia allied to the country’s military clashed with armed groups from the town. Our Observer in Bani Walid describes how the fighting has wreaked havoc on the lives of its residents.
Violence in the area had been escalating over the past few weeks, however, Wednesday, October 17 saw a marked escalation in the unrest. Eleven people were killed and several others
wounded in Bani Walid, after militia groups laid siege to it. The hill-top town had long-been suspected of being a hotbed of Gaddafi supporters.
The fighting comes after the kidnapping and death of Omran Ben Shaaban
, one of the men credited with capturing Gaddafi on October 20, 2011. Many blamed Shaaban’s abduction on pro-Gaddafi factions.
In this deeply divided area, the fighting is not only being waged on the ground, but also on the Internet. In a show of strength, both sides of the fighting have taken to posting videos online showing off their firepower and numbers.
Video posted by Misrata-based militia:
A line of pickup truck transporting armed forces from Misrata. The video was posted on YouTube Thursday, October 18, but the date it was filmed is unknown.
Video by armed forces in Bani Walid:
Fighters from Bani Walid show off a pickup truck mounted with a rocket-launcher, which they claim was abandoned by ex-rebel forces from Misrata during a retreat. Video posted on YouTube Wednesday, October 17.