Rebels in Libya are preparing for a possible attack on Bani Walid, a remaining stronghold of support for ousted Col. Muammar Qaddafi, and one location in which the former Libyan strongman could be hiding.
Talks aimed at a peaceful takeover of the city ended Sunday without an agreement, rebels told Al Jazeera, and fighters are preparing "to take the town by force."
"We are ready from three fronts: north and east and west," Mahmoud Abdul Aziz, a political analyst and one of those on the negotiation team, told Al Jazeera.
"Their time is over," he said, referring to Gaddafi loyalists in the town who had refused to give up their arms. "The push is going to happen in the next 24 hours."
"This is aside from the Gaddafi loyalists who we've heard have come out, who are manning checkpoints... civilians who have weapons," she said. "But actual Gaddafi troops - they're saying no more than 100."Al Jazeera's Sue Turton said that NTC fighters outside of Bani Walid have estimated Gaddafi troops remaining in Bani Walid number less than 100.
Some NTC fighters, who established a frontline about 30km from Bani Wali, suggested on Saturday that the town could be attacked within hours, and Al Jazeera's James Bays said on Sunday morning: "[NTC] forces are now surrounding Bani Walid and threatening to go in."