Tripoli, 1 June:
The body of a man was found this morning on the main road between Ghadames and the checkpoint 50 . . .[restrict]kilometres east of the town. A second man was also found, who was taken to the town’s hospital where he is now in intensive care. His condition is said to be critical. It is reported that both had been tortured, with burns to hands and arms.
The dead man has been named Fathi Baisi, the wounded one as Abdul Rauf Sharaf Aldin.They were seized while travelling on a bus from Ghadames on Thursday to Tripoli when it was attacked by four armed men at Matras, a village some five kilometres from Derj.
The attackers have reportedly been identified by other passengers on the bus as members of a local Tuareg group and named as Ahmed Mohammed Ibrahim Bahta, Dehna Okha Imagneida, Mohammed Sheikh Aghali and Tariq Farjat Shushan. It is claimed the latter was a member of the Qaddafi forces last year.
The claims that the killers are Tuaregs are likely to exacerbate tensions in the area, despite attempts yesterday by Tuareg elders to distance themseves from the attack and earlier efforts by Libyan officials led by NTC spokesman Mohammed Al-Hareizi to mediate between Tuaregs and local Arab residents of the town. This week further troops were sent to the town in an attempt to ensure the peace there.
Following the attack, a local group, Sahifah Ghadames, today demanded the authorities both prosecute the four men and hold Derj responsible for what had happened. It also wants the government to deploy the army on the road between Ghadames and Nalut to ensure its safety. [/restrict]