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Last updated at 12:51 BST, Tuesday, 06 September 2011

Gaddafi stronghold talks fail

Summary

5 September 2011

Negotiations to end a standoff in the Libyan region of Bani Walid have failed.

The area south east of Tripoli is one of the last strongholds of pro-Gaddafi forces.

Reporter:
Jon Leyne

Anti-Gaddafi fighters

Opposition forces outside Bani Walid

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Report

Opposition negotiators on the outskirts of Bani Walid and from the other side, a pro-Gaddafi TV station, all say that negotiations have broken down.

The opposition here in Benghazi say the talks never really got going because every time they tried to engage with them, Gaddafi loyalists just opened fire.

The opposition say they are likely to launch an attack very soon, possibly it is already in progress.

Inside the area it appears there are some desperate men. Gaddafi loyalists who fear retribution for what they did to try to suppress the revolution.

But the opposition say many of the civilian population there support the revolution.

There are many reports that some of Col Gaddafi's sons were in the area but the best guess is that they have already moved on as they do not expect to hold the ground.

Jon Leyne, BBC News

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Vocabulary

negotiators

people who try to get two sides of a dispute to reach an agreement

the outskirts of

the areas outside of the centre of a city

broken down

stopped because of disagreement

the opposition

the group of people not in power who would like to be in power

loyalists

people who strongly support the current government or rulers

to launch an attack

to start military action

retribution

severe punishment for involvement in serious crimes

to suppress

to try to stop

civilian population

people in a place of war who are not part of the military

to hold the ground

keep an area of land under their military command

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