Militias, which are said to be linked to the Libyan government have shelled the town of Bani Walid, which is the last stronghold for supporters of former strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Abdullah al-Mansuri, who heads the hospital in Bani Walid, told AFP news agency that the facility saw “seven dead people and 75 wounded, including a 14-year-old girl.”
A town official, Massud al-Waer, confirmed that the shelling had taken place. “Bani Walid was shelled from three fronts today,” he said.
The pro-Gadhafi news agency, Mathaba, said 10 more people were killed Thursday, describing the militants attacking the town as “puppet regime occupation rat forces.”
The agency said the militias’ attacks on the town are approved by “the American-Libyan puppet regime in Tripoli.”
The siege was triggered after Omar ben Shaaban, a 22-year-old rebel fighter from Misurata who helped capture Gadhafi last year, was tortured by gunmen from Bani Walid. He later died in a French hospital.
Rebels from Misurata then surrounded Bani Walid and told the town’s officials that the gunmen should be handed over.
Last week, leaders in Bani Walid had said they would not allow “lawless militias” entry into the town and did not recognize Libya’s military authority, reported Al-Jazeera. The Misurata militia then attacked Bani Walid.
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