By Maha Ellawati
Benghazi, April 12
There were armed clashes on Wednesday at a farm in the Hawari district, close the headquarters of . . .[restrict]the Benghazi Security Forces, between security forces and armed men, purportedly revolutionaries. The clashes happened when the latter tried to seize vehicles stored at the farm. These included hundreds of Toyota Camrys and Toyota 4X4 vehicles.
The vehicles are said to be owned by a businessman accused of having run a cars sales business with Khaled Al-Khouwailidi Al-Humaidi whose sister is married to Saadi Qaddafi and whose father, Major-General Khuwailidi al-Humaidi, was general inspector of Qaddafi’s armed forces and a close ally and advisor to him.
The Isnad, 17th of February and Thunderbolt battalions came and surrounded the area to prevent the cars being stolen by the armed group. They said they would maintain a presence until an investigation had clarifed the circumstances surrounding the incident.
The Supreme Security Committee did not intervene despite being instructed to do so.
The Isnad and February 17 battalions were forced to engage with the revolutionaries when the latter refused to leave the farm. Other forces arrived from different parts of the city came to support the two battalions and try to arrest the armed militants and safeguard the stolen cars.
Fighting lasted more than 10 hours, during which heavy weaponry was used, including anti-aircraft guns. The Thunderbolt battalion have since surrounded the area.
An investigation into the clashes is being carried-out.
The Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani has reportedly issued a fatwa forbidding anyone to take any of the cars, calling upon the authorities to safeguard them and to defend the rights of their owner. He has also ordered armed militants to stay away from the vehicles and for force to be used against them if they refuse.