Pro-Gadhafi Fighters Retake Libyan Town

Pro-government soldiers pinned down in Bani Walid
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2012 7:30 PM CST
Pro-Gadhafi Fighters Retake Libyan Town
A revolutionary fighter fires a belt-fed machine gun under heavy sniper fire in, Libya, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/David Sperry)

(Newser) – Libya's interim government is looking more fragile by the day. After protesters ransacked government offices yesterday, Gadhafi loyalists clashed with official forces today and took back the town of Bani Walid, the Guardian reports. Between 100 and 150 fighters with heavy weapons are said to have carried out the carefully coordinated attack. Pro-government forces, pinned down in a compound and running low on supplies, are yet to receive any help.

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"We're out of the frying pan into the fire," said the spokesman for a Bani Walid council. "We've been warning about this for the past two months." About 30 pro-government soldiers were injured in the firefight, roughly 110 miles south-east of Tripoli. Government armored units are on their way, but plan to stay out until authorities confirm it's more than a fight between rival clans. "For the moment we are waiting to assess the situation," said Libya's defense minister. (Read more Libya stories.)

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