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Scores of families are fleeing fighting between pro-government militia and armed groups in Bani Walid in Libya, once a stronghold for Muammar Gaddafi.

Cars loaded with belongings can be seen blocking the roads leading out of the town.

At least 26 people have been killed and hundreds injured. As they leave, the cars are checked by government troops. People here are taking no more chances.

“People are being killed,” said one man at the roadside, “houses are being flattened, most of the electricity is cut off. It’s tragic. All these families fleeing Bani Walid gives you and idea of just how dangerous it is.”

Pro-government militia, many from the nearby rival town of Misrata, have been shelling Bani Walid for days.

Concern over the situation has filtered through to the Libyan capital. In Tripoli, a crowd of hundreds gathered at the gates of Libya’s parliament building to demand that the attack on Bani Walid be ended.

The protestors, who were unarmed, forced their way past security guards. Cars carrying elected members of the General National Congress nudged their way through the crowd.

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