Libya’s new rulers strive to conquer Gaddafi’s last stronghold

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Wary of alienating a powerful local tribe, fighters backing Libya’s new rulers are urging families to leave the besieged town of Bani Walid before resorting to full-scale military force to take one of Muammar Gaddafi’s last strongholds.

The drawn-out standoff at the town — home of Libya’s biggest tribe, the Warfalla — has turned the obscure oasis 150 km (90 miles) south of Tripoli into a new flashpoint in the North African nation’s seven-month-long war.

Libya’s new rulers are keen to bring the stubborn town into the fold as quickly as possible but have hesitated to employ heavy-handed tactics that could estrange the Warfalla and derail their efforts to create an all-inclusive government.

“Full story: Clock ticking on Gaddafi bastion’s last stand