Libyan tribal leaders call for united front

Al Jazeera reports:

More than 100 community and tribal leaders from Libya have met with members of the opposition National Transitional Council at a conference in Turkey, in a bid to show a united front against Muammar Gaddafi.

Most of the tribal leaders who gathered in Istanbul on Saturday and Sunday, were from the powerful Warfalla clan based in Baniwalid, a city in western Libya.

The delegates were calling for an end to the violence in Libya and the departure of Libyan leader Gaddafi and his sons.

An organiser of the conference told Al Jazeera that Gaddafi and his forces became aware of the conference yesterday and then moved in to seize control of Baniwalid.

“Fierce clashes broke out between Gaddafi’s forces and Warfalla members in Baniwalid, and at least 11 people died, including the brother of a conference delegate,” the source said.

Al Jazeera’s Anita McNaught, reporting from Istanbul, said that the delegates were mostly senior professionals from both inside Libya as well as those who have been in exile for the last few years.

“They all stood up together and presented their declaration and sang the old Libyan national anthem – I watched grown men break down in tears and sob all their way through this,” our correspondent said.

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