Libya Rebels Ready Bani Walid Attack

Talks end without handover, rebels say they know where Gadhafi is
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2011 8:52 AM CDT
Rebels walk past a poster of Colonel Moammar Gadhafi at Bir Durfan military base, some 60 kilometers from Bani Walid, on September 4, 2011, after the base was destroyed in a NATO airstrike.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Talks between Libyan rebels and Gadhafi loyalists in Bani Walid ended without a deal today, and the rebels are preparing to take the town by force. "Their time is over," a spokesman tells al-Jazeera. "The push is going to happen in the next 24 hours." The National Transitional Council expects to find fewer than 100 Gadhafi troops, but remains cagey on the big prize. "As for Gadhafi himself... we know where he is," says the NTC oil minister. He is "in a safe place surrounded by many people who are prepared to protect him," says a Gadhafi spokesman.

Gadhafi's son, Seif al-Islam, was reportedly in Bani Walid, but may have fled. Meanwhile, the Warfala—Libya's largest tribe, which dominates Bani Walid—are reportedly split over whether to join the rebels, reports the AP. But rebels don't expect much of a fight. "They will give up at the end because they are cousins and they don't want to spill each other's blood," a rebel leader in Benghazi says.

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