Libya: Clashes in Bani Walid claim 22 lives as families flee (VIDEO)


Pro-government forces gather to rest against a wall on October 21, 2012, some three kilometers from the northern entrance to the Bani Walid, one of the final bastions of Muammar Gaddafi's regime.



Clashes in Bani Walid claimed 22 lives over the weekend, as government forces attacked what they called the last bastion of Muammar Gaddafi's supporters.

Al Arabiya reported that hundreds of Libyan families and foreign workers fled from the town on Sunday. "Dozens of foreign workers, many of them Egyptian citizens, fled on foot in the direction of Tripoli and military vehicles shuttled back and forth to pick them up," it said.

According to the BBC, in addition to the 22 killed, around 200 people were injured in Bani Walid in the clashes between gunmen and pro-government militia.

Protesters also demonstrated near the Libyan parliament on Sunday, calling for an end to the clashes. Reuters reported that around 500 protesters broke into the grounds of the parliament building. The unarmed group of men and women forced their way past security guards as the General National Congress met inside.

RT reported that protesters also attacked the headquarters of the TV station Al-Hurra in Benghazi on Sunday, claiming that its coverage of Bani Walid was used to justify the government assault against the city.

More on GlobalPost: Moussa Ibrahim, spokesman for Muammar Gaddafi, reportedly captured in Libya

There were also conflicting, unconfirmed reports that Gaddafi's son, Khamis, had been killed in battle in Bani Walid. The protesting crowds demanded photographic evidence that he had been killed, according to Reuters.

Reports on Saturday also suggested that Gaddafi's former spokesman, Moussa Ibrahim, had been captured.

However, on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abu Shagur said the announcement of Ibrahim's arrest had been made without confirming the news, the BBC reported.

Pro-government militia from the town of Misrata have been shelling Bani Walid for days, amid claims from the government that the town still harbors many Gaddafi loyalists.

Reuters noted that a feud between the rival militias was fueled by the death of Omran Shaban, who was captured and held in Bani Walid for two months. Shaban was credited with finding Gaddafi hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte last October.

More on GlobalPost: Beirut: Protesters attempt to storm Lebanese government headquarters

Watch the report by Al Jazeera on protesters storming parliament: