Misrata was one of the key battlefields in the Libyan revolution, for a while the revolt’s sole western outpost surrounded by Gaddafi forces.
Now the boot is on the other foot as Misrata is the gathering point for the revolutionary forces heading off to one of the final strongholds of Gaddafi forces; Bani Walid. Total victory is in sight, but no-one wants the revolution to end with a bloodbath.
“We are now heading to Bani Walid and to Sirte. The NTC has given a delay of one week to surrender and if they do not surrender, we will attack,” said rebel leader Mustafa Sami.
Bani Walid is the home of one of Libya’s strongest tribes, and until now die-hard Gaddafi loyalists who have refused the idea of surrender.
Outside the town its military base lies abandoned, its equipment gone or destroyed. The road into Bani Walid lies open, and there appears to be little to stop the rebel forces. But the thought of street fighting and civilian casualties worries everyone.
“This was the camp of Gaddafi’s 32th Troop. Rebels bombed it early this morning, with NATO aircraft providing backup. Now the camp has fallen to the rebels. The rebel’s second push will be on Bani Walid itself,” says euronews’ reporter Mustafa Bag.