Libyan leaders claim new areas in Bani Walid

NTC fighters launch a rocket toward the desert city of Bani Walid on October 11, 2011.

Story highlights

  • Government forces surround the city from all sides, an official says
  • Troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi flee to southern part of the city, he says
  • The United Nations cites evidence of prisoner torture by the NTC

Libya's new government said it has control of new areas in Bani Walid as the battle rages on for one of the last cities loyal to the ousted ruler.

The city center and the northern part of the city are now under government control, said Ali Daeki, a member of the executive crisis committee.

Government forces have surrounded the city from all sides, and arrested more than 20 loyalists of former ruler, he said Saturday.

Troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi are now in Dahra, a residential area in the southern part of the city, according to Daeki.

National Transitional Council fighters also battling for control in Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, and will boost Bani Walid troops as soon as that battle is over, said Abdurahman Bousin, a council spokesman.

What next after Sirte falls?
What next after Sirte falls?


    What next after Sirte falls?


What next after Sirte falls? 02:47
 Libya's treasures under threat
 Libya's treasures under threat


    Libya's treasures under threat


Libya's treasures under threat 02:35

As the battle for control continues, the U.N. human rights office expressed concern on the number of prisoners in Libya and their treatment.

"It could be up to 7,000," said Mona Rishmawi, a senior official with the group in Geneva, Switzerland. "At this stage, there is no police infrastructure, there is no prison authorities. ... Right now, the Justice Ministry is not fully functional."

"There is allegations and evidence of torture" in the prisons, she said, citing lawyers, clients and human rights groups.

      Battle for Libya

    • Panetta, Dempsey defend U.S. response

      A testy exchange erupted between Sen. John McCain and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey during the latter's testimony about September's deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.
    • Five things from the Benghazi hearings

      Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took on Republican congressional critics of her department's handling of the deadly September terrorist attack in Libya.
    • Children in Benghazi hold up placards reading "No to terrorism" (R) and "yes for stability and security" on January 15.

      Benghazi tries to escape its ghosts

      Bilal Bettamer wants to save Benghazi from those he calls "extremely dangerous people." But his campaign against the criminal and extremist groups that plague the city has put his life at risk.
    • Protesters near the US Embassy in Cairo.

      Dispute over how attack began

      Was the attack on the Libyan U.S. Consulate the result of a mob gone awry, a planned terror attack or a combination of the two?
    • Image #: 19358881    Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, smiles at his home in Tripoli June 28, 2012. Stevens and three embassy staff were killed late on September 11, 2012, as they rushed away from a consulate building in Benghazi, stormed by al Qaeda-linked gunmen blaming America for a film that they said insulted the Prophet Mohammad. Stevens was trying to leave the consulate building for a safer location as part of an evacuation when gunmen launched an intense attack, apparently forcing security personnel to withdraw. Picture taken June 28, 2012. REUTERS/Esam Al-Fetori (LIBYA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST OBITUARY)       REUTERS /ESAM OMRAN AL-FETORI /LANDOV

      U.S. ambassador's last moments

      Three days before the deadly attack in Benghazi, a local security official says he warned U.S. diplomats about deteriorating security.
    • CNN Arabic

      For the latest news on developments in the Middle East and North Africa in Arabic.