The news out of Libya this morning underlines the daunting challenges facing Libya's new leaders: Even as they seek to overcome internal divisions and unify a war-torn and fragmented country, they're still contending with stubborn resistance from forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi both inside and outside the country. Over the weekend, Libyan military officials announced that Qaddafi loyalists had driven cars full of weapons into Libya from Algeria and launched a deadly attack on anti-Qaddafi fighters in the desert town of Ghadamis. The New York Times explains that the assault could portend future strikes from Algeria, which has given shelter to Qaddafi's relatives and been accused of supporting Qaddafi politically and militarily throughout the Libyan uprising.
In Libya itself, the National Transitional Council controls Tripoli and most of the country but has yet to capture Qaddafi's hometown of Sirte and the town of Bani Walid, which is a little over 100 miles southeast of Tripoli. NATO, which extended its mission in Libya for another 90 days last week, is bombing targets in Sirte in advance of a renewed NTC offensive on the coastal city. Peter Parker argues today at Reuters that the "hilltop desert badlands of Bani Walid"--where Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam is rumored to be hiding (Qaddafi himself is believed to be on the run inside Libya)--could mark where Qaddafi's forces make their last stand. "Chaotic organisation, lack of leadership and factional rivalries have wrecked the cohesion of the anti-Gaddafi push on the town, turning their assaults into debacles," Parker writes.