Libyan Interim Forces Await Decision to Attack


In the desert town of Bani Walid, Libya, forces of the interim ruling council are awaiting a decision from the National Transitional Council on whether to advance and begin military action after talks with tribe leaders broke down on Monday.

Bani Walid is one of several cities still under the control of Qaddafi loyalists.

"The situation is very calm … We are awaiting the decision from the council to enter, God willing," said Ali Saleh, a fighter.

NTC officials believe that Qaddafi and members of his family are in hiding in the desert town.

Meanwhile, anti-Qaddafi forces are approaching the ex-leader’s birthplace, Sirte, but are also awaiting a decision from the interim council to take any further action.

“We are here concentrated in Umm al-Khonfos city, 90 km far from Horawa city. We are squaring off, but we will give a chance for the current negotiations, as the head of the National Council extended the deadline for a week and we are sticking to that date," said an anti-Qaddafi fighter.

Communication lines have been cut off in the Sahara desert, affecting Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha, which are held by pro-Qaddafi supporters.

The U.N.'s senior humanitarian official in Libya said he was worried about humanitarian problems in the few pockets of territory where Qaddafi loyalists are still in control.