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Libyan Rebel Factions Attack Each Other

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by X-PASTER, Aug 6, 2011.


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    Aug 6, 2011
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    Libyan Rebel Factions Attack Each Other

    CHRIS STEPHEN in Misurata

    BATTLES BETWEEN rival Libyan rebel factions in Benghazi yesterday left four fighters dead and opposition leaders in disarray three days after the murder of their military commander Abdul Fatah Younes.

    Fighters from one faction, the 17th February Martyrs Brigade, overran the base of another faction, the al-Nadaa Brigade, in the early hours of the morning, claiming they were linked both to the killing and to agents of Muammar Gadafy.
    Adding to the tension in Benghazi was the admission by the national transitional council that it had ordered the arrest of Gen Younes from his frontline headquarters hours before his death.

    The full circumstances of the death of the general, who was Mr Gadafy’s interior minister until he defected to the rebels in February, have yet to be explained, and rebel officials have offered no proof for claims that he was murdered by al-Nadaa Brigade members.
    Council spokesman minister Mahmoud Shammam insisted that the al-Nadaa units were a “fifth column” with officials saying they had been receiving coded orders from Gadafy via his state television network, which was bombed by Nato on Saturday.

    Libya claimed that three journalists were killed and 15 people hurt in the bombing attack, which Nato said it could not confirm.
    In stark contrast to the chaos and uncertainty engulfing their capital, rebel units in the besieged city of Misurata and in the western Nafusa mountains reported significant successes over the weekend.

    Rebels in Misurata broke through government lines near the town of Zlitan, advancing nine miles and capturing three armoured vehicles, four howitzers and four multiple-barrelled rocket launchers they found abandoned.

    Units from the rebel Shaheed (martyrs) Brigade entered Zlitan on Saturday, to find it empty of troops, but local people begged them to leave, fearing the town would be otherwise targeted by government artillery.

    “The people told us to go,” said one Shaheed commander, Ramadan Mohammed. “The one thing we fear is civilian casualties, so we left.” The fighting cost the rebels, with 28 dead and more than 100 wounded over the weekend, with no figures given by government forces. Rebels say they have captured 40 prisoners including seven wounded who were treated in Misurata hospitals.

    Tripoli issued no casualty figures for the fighting, nor for that in the Nafusa mountains, where rebel units say they have captured one town, Hawamid, and are surrounding another, Tiji, giving them control of a road needed to bring supplies from Tunisia.