Fighting Continues in Libya Despite the Beginning of Ramadan

Fighting continued yesterday, 31 July, between rebel and government forces. A battle near Benghazi involved the use of heavy weapons.

Libya’s opposition forces have launched an attack against what they say was a pro-Gaddafi armed group operating under the opposition’s banner in the country’s east. The opposition’s forces had overrun the base of the Gaddafi’s al-Nidaa Brigade after five hours of fighting near the opposition stronghold Benghazi. A spokesperson said that four people were killed and six others wounded in the clash, which involved the use of heavy weapons. The battle was launched to subdue elements of Muammar Gaddafi’s forces that had operated as a “fifth column” within the opposition ranks. According to sources here there is no connection with the attack and the death of General Abdel Fattah Younes, but documents were found with the defeated faction that linked it to Gaddafi.

The fighting followed 28 July’s killing of General Younes, the rebel’s army commander, under mysterious circumstances.

Mustafa el-Sagisli, the rebels’ deputy interior minister, said that the al-Nidaa Brigade had been involved in plans to plant car bombs. He said that they “participated in many acts of terrorism inside Benghazi”.

Meanwhile, the Gaddafi government informed it was in contact with members of the opposition National Transitional Council (NTC). In the capital Tripoli, Khaled Kaim, the Libyan deputy foreign minister, denied rumours of recent contacts with General Younes.

Fighting continued between rebel and pro-Gaddafi forces in Libya’s west on 31 July, with intense clashes reported near the town of Tiji, which rebels say is the last post remaining in government hands in the western mountains.

(Sources: Al-Jazeera; 1 August 2011)


About Johann Brandstätter

Photojournalist and documentary photographer based in Bulgaria, working mainly in the Balkans and the Middle East. Conflicts & crises, social and environmental issues, defense & military, travel, transportation.
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