Libyan NTC forces retreat from Bani Walid-Reuters witness

NEAR BANI WALID , Sept 16 Fri Sep 16, 2011 12:34pm EDT

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NEAR BANI WALID , Sept 16 (Reuters) - Columns of Libyan NTC fighters and vehicles withdrew chaotically from Bani Walid at dusk after hours of fierce fighting ended inconclusively and pro-Gaddafi forces continued to shell their positions in and around the city, Reuters witnesses said.

"We have received orders to retreat. We have been hit by many rockets. We will come back later," ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) fighter, Assad Al Hamuri, told Reuters as he fled from the frontline.

"We need to reorganise troops and stock up on ammunition. We are waiting for orders to go back in again," said NTC fighter Saraj Abdelrazaq

The atmosphere was frantic and shouting matches erupted among the anti-Gaddafi fighters as their forces poured out of the city amid heavy bursts of rocket fire from Gaddafi forces. (Reporting by Maria Golovnina; Writing by Barry Malone)

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