By Ahmed Elumami and Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 27 July 2013:
Benghazi was the scene of further violence yesterday, with two more security officials assassinated in the city, one while he was at prayer.
Retired Commander of the local Defence and Training department of the Libyan Air Force, Salem Alsarah, was shot during evening prayers last night.
“Alsarah was killed while he was praying during Taraweeh Prayers at the Al-Tauba mosque in the city’s Al-Laythi district,” spokesman for the Benghazi Joint Security Forces (BJSF), Mohamed Hejazi, told the Libya Herald. He added: “I don’t know what kind of people these are who can kill in the house of God.”
One eye-witness reported seeing the killer, who apparently used a pistol to carry out the assassination. Others in the mosque could not distinguish the sound of the gunfire from fireworks, Hejazi said, otherwise they would have tried to apprehend the killer.
The Commander of Shekhra area police station, Colonel Khatab Younes Al-Zwyi, was also assassinated late last night, while he was engaged in a security mission in the city, Hejazi told the Libya Herald.
Al-Zwyi was the third high-profile killing in the city yesterday. Lawyer and political activist Abdulsalam Musmari was assassinated yesterday afternoon as he walked home from his local mosque.
A popular local figure, Musmari’s killing sparked protests late last night. Hundreds of angry Benghazi residents demonstrated in front of the Tibesti Hotel, after walking to Musmari’s home, to pay their respects to his family.
Two Benghazi Congresswomen, Halima Abdulmatloub Al-Warrfeli and Ameena Mohamed Al-Moghirbi, took part in the demonstrations.
The protestors condemned the assassinations and the lack of effective security in the city, despite promises that this would be beefed up during Ramadan. They also spoke out against the Muslim Brotherhood, blaming both them and Qaddafi loyalists for the recent attacks, and for destabilising security across the region.