Rival factions turn on leadership after the attempt to secure Bani Walid ends in chaos. Kim Sengupta reports from Tripoli
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
The rebels had fought their way in through the narrow streets and alleyways when they ran into an ambush. A desperate appeal for help to their comrades, exiles from Bani Walid whose advice they had followed on the assault, was answered by instructions to fall back to a rendezvous point outside the town.
But when the revolutionaries reached their destination, having fought their way out under intense fire, there was no sign of the Bani Walid contingent. Then, as urgent attempts were being made to establish communications, came salvos of mortar rounds and rockets.
By the time the opposition fighters had brought their casualties, five dead and 18 injured, to the nearest medical facility, they were enraged, accusing the Bani Walid men of betrayal. And some of the “outside” groups returned to Tripoli in disgust.