Things could be about to get bad in Libya — rebel militias have reportedly been preparing a large-scale assault on the former pro-Qaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid, revealing how strong internal tensions are one year after the death of Muammar Qaddafi.
Forces from the city of Misrata (an anti-Qaddafi stronghold) are gearing up for what the Guardian called a “final assault” on the Bani Walid, which allegedly still harbors some of Qaddafi’s allies. The planned attack is a response to the death of a detained rebel fighter, Omran Shaban, according to Reuters.
Shaban — who also happens to be the one who found found Qaddafi hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte — was abducted two months ago by his enemies before he was allegedly tortured to death. The Misrata-based militias are retaliating by shelling and attacking Bani Walid. 10 people have already died and scores have been injured.
France 24’s Observers blog notes that many militants seem to be posting videos online that show off their numbers and firepower. One Misrata-based militia posted this video to YouTube this week (although it is not clear when it was filmed), showing what looks like hundreds of trucks with heavy artillery attached to the back preparing for some sort of large-scale assault:
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