Tripoli, 10 July:
Prime Minister Abdurrahim Al-Kib has called for restraint by Misrata and Bani Walid over the two Misratan TV journalists . . .[restrict]abducted in Bani Walid last week by local militiamen there. Sources in Misrata say Kib has given Bani Walid until Thursday to release the two men, Yusuf Baadi and Abdul Qader Fusuq.
Several hundred Misrata brigadesmen intent on moving into Bani Walid to liberate the journalists are now camped along with heavy artillery at Bir Dufan, about halfway to Bani Walid.
Last night leaders in Misrata rejected a demand from Bani Walid that 120 of the latter’s men be released as the price of freeing the journalists. Most of them were captured last year by Misratan forces. The demand was brought by a group of mediators from the Banu Yusuf tribe when they returned to Misrata earlier in the evening.
“Even the families of the two men have said the Bani Walid’s demand’s must be refused, even if it means the sacrifice of their sons,” said Tahir Zaroug, another TV journalist from Misrata. “They say that the captured men are criminals who must be punished, not released.”
In an assault on Libyan unity, Bani Walid’s military leaders this morning said that the two journalists had gone to the town without permission and would have to be put on trial as a result. [/restrict]