Gaddafi loyalists seize Libyan town

Libya’s ramshackle government lost control of a former stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi on Tuesday after local people staged an armed uprising, posing the gravest challenge yet to the country’s new rulers, Reuters reports.

Elders in Bani Walid, where militias loyal to the ruling National Transitional Council were driven out in a gunbattle a day earlier, said they were appointing their own local government and rejected any interference from the authorities in the capital Tripoli.

The town’s revolt will heighten doubts in the West about the NTC government’s ability to instill law and order crucial to rebuilding oil exports, to disarm tribal militias and guard Libyan borders in a region where al Qaeda is active.

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