Tripoli, 8 October:
The Egyptian embassy in Tripoli says it sent two buses yesterday, Sunday, towards Bani Walid in the hope of . . .[restrict]rescuing Egyptian workers living in the besieged town. However, an embassy official said they returned empty having been turned back half way because the road ahead was deemed insecure.
There was another attempt today when three buses were sent, but the official said that there was no news so far.
There were also reports of a separate attempt yesterday to send buses to bring out Egyptians living and working in Bani Walid. Four were said to have been allowed through the Libyan army checkpoint on the Tarhouna-Bani Walid road and returned with a number of Egyptians who had made it out of the town on foot but there has been no confirmation of this.
Despite assurances given to the Egyptian embassy by Bani Walid officials that its estimated 1,000 citizens in the town and the surrounding area would be allowed to leave, it appears no one has been officially allowed in or out of the place in the past few days.
Other embassies are also trying to find ways of getting their citizens out of Bani Walid. In addition to the Egyptians, there are said to be several hundred other foreigners there, including 100 Indians.
Meanwhile today, Monday, a source in Bani Walid claimed that 16 people had been arrested at a checkpoint trying to get into the town. They were said to be from Zliten, Emsalata, Khoms and Misrata, and that one of them was only 14 years old. [/restrict]