Thursday, November 17, 2016

Troops loyal to Libyan unity government's defense minister murdered in eastern Libya

Two members of the 204 Tank Brigade formerly commanded by Colonel Al-Mahdi Barghathi the acting defence minister of the Libyan Government have been killed with both showing signs of torture.

The bodies of the two men were found near Al-Abyar about 50 kilometers east of Benghazi. A Libyan National Army source said they showed signs of torture. The two had been reporting missing earlier. Field Marshall Khalifa Haftar, commander of the Libyan National Army (LNA) renamed the battalion 298 and a new commander Abdulkarim Hussein was appointed. A number of the brigade appear to be still loyal to Al-Barghathi. The two who were murdered were identified as Ayad Suweih and Miakalal Jirari. In Tripoli, the defence ministry issue issued a statement claiming that Suweih had been killed after he had been held prisoner for two days
The defense ministry also posted an obituary to mourn Ayyd Suweih. A statement on Facebook reads: “The ministry will leave no stone unturned as it tries to stem the ongoing kidnaps, torture, assassinations and violations against civilians in Benghazi.” Suweih's body was found tossed on a road in the Al-Abyar district with torture marks on it. He had been shot in the lower back. A third 204 Tanks fighter's body was found thrown in a landfill with torture marks on the body as well.
In other incidents, a security unit affiliated with Haftar in Benghazi stormed the house of a brigade fighter on Saturday at dawn and arrested him as well as confiscating his car. The group also raided the house of Al-Barghathi's son in law in another area of Benghazi. According to the Libya Observer:Benghazi is now a battlefield for the security units that are all fighting for control of the security department. Some of the units are pro-Haftar and others are against him and both have taken the fight so far to the extent that they started using military vehicles and deploying fighters against one another.
Several tweets confirm the killing incidents but with different numbers and some additional names.One reads: "kidnapping, Y'day, of an officer & 4 soldiers of Barghathi's Tanks Batallion 204. 3 found dumped in tipping site (tortured), 2 still missing
6:55 AM - 6 Nov 2016". Another claims: "Mahmoud e-Shami & Khaled el-Bijo still missing. All these kidnappings & killings targeted members of Brigade 204, yesterday & dawn today. "


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