Angry Libyan protesters storm TV channel for Bani Walid coverage
Protesters attacked the HQ of the private TV station Al-Hurra in Benghazi, claiming the channel’s coverage of the Bani Walid events was used to justify assaults against the city.
They also allegedly lashed out against the channel reporting the capture of Khamis Gaddafi, the ousted leader’s youngest son.Demonstrators broke into the building Sunday, damaging the equipment and starting a fire in one of the offices according to an AFP journalist who witnessed the scene. He says protesters were shouting “Warfalla” – the name of one of the Bani Walid-based tribes.They also attacked at least one of the channel’s employees, while others ran away.The channel stopped broadcasting after the attack.On Saturday, it was reported that Khamis Gaddafi, the seventh son of former dictator, was captured and killed during the fighting in Bani Walid. Gaddafi’s last spokesman Moussa Ibrahim was allegedly also seized.Sunday's attack on the channel also came after almost three weeks of the pro-government forces’ assault on Bani Walid.At least 26 people were killed and over 200 more injured in Saturday’s violence alone, AFP reports.The fierce shelling in Bani Walid, the town of 70,000 people and a former Gaddafi’s stronghold, has been continuing almost non-stop since early October.The latest round of fighting was inflamed by the death of rebel Omran Shaaban on September 25 after two months’ detention in Bani Walid. Shaaban, from Misrata, was credited with capturing Muammar Gaddafi, who was hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte on October 20, 2011.Pro-government forces and militias besieged the town in order to find those responsible for the death of “the hero of a new Libya”, as Shaaban was dubbed. Bani Walid commanders accuse the pro-government troops and militias of “shelling the town with long-range weapons and even targeting the hospital.”According to RT’s source, Bani Walid is on the verge of humanitarian catastrophe as pro-government militias intercept food, fuel and medicine.The local, who currently resides in Italy, but whose family remains in the town, told RT the current shelling of the town is Misrata militias’ attempt to “eliminate” it.He claimed grad rockets and gas weapons are being used against people in Bani Walid. RT also received a fax message from the local hospital on October 8, saying that 26 injured civilians they treated at the moment were showing signs of inhalation of toxic gases.