Rebels frustrated as Gadhafi loyalists resist assault on Bani Walid

“Where are you NATO” calls retreating  rebel’

The fighters had gone to the edge of Bani Walid, southwest of Tripoli and one of three major towns in Libya that remain loyal to Gadhafi, but were apparently driven back.

They had encountered resistance from loyalist fighters who were more numerous, better equipped and better trained than they had expected, a National Transitional Council (NTC) official, Abdallah Kenshil, said.

The fighters’ frustration at not getting closer to the prize spilled out in gunfire, as they pulled back to a position about 10 kilometers (6 miles) outside Bani Walid. The men shot everything they had into the air — from AK-47s to anti-aircraft guns — in a hail of fire more normally let off in celebration but here signalling a darker mood.

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