By George Grant.
Benghazi, 12 December:
Five policemen were injured in Benghazi this afternoon, when assailants fired a S-5 rocket at their station in Foihat.
The blast destroyed one vehicle and blew a hole in the building’s outer wall, shattering glass inside and also damaging the front gate. Four of the injured officers are suffering non-life threatening injuries including broken bones, whilst the fifth is receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of Jalaa hospital.
“The attack came just before sunset”, said one officer, who requested to remain anonymous. “We have begun an investigation and have a possible lead. I still cannot hear properly from the explosion.”
Asked to give more details, the officer refused, saying he did not want to compromise the investigation, but added, “you know what is happening in Benghazi. Some people are trying to destabilise security.”
The attack is the latest in a string of assaults on police stations in the eastern city that intensified some two months ago. Yesterday, Benghazi’s Ras Obeida police station was fired upon, although there were no reported injuries. It is believed that militant Islamists are largely responsible. They are said to be targeting officials associated with the former regime and also engaging in a broader power-struggle for control of the city.
In the past week, Benghazi has also witnessed two assassination attempts on separate officials, one of them resulting in a fatality. On Monday, Walid Al-Bakr Al-Obeidi, an engineer with AGOCO, was killed in what is believed to have been a case of mistaken identity. The assailants were said to have been targeting one of his neighbours, who is alleged to have worked for Qaddafi’s internal security service.
Last week, there was also a failed assassination attempt against Mustafa Sagezli, head of the Warriors Affairs Commission, by four disgruntled revolutionaries, all of whom were captured. Upon interrogation, they said they were angry at what they perceived as the WAC’s lack of progress in assisting former fighters who had risked their lives during last year’s uprising.