Tripoli, 3 June:
The commander of Tarhouna’s Awfeya battalion, Abu-Ajilah Habshi, was kidnapped on Sunday afternoon on Tripoli’s Airport Road. The identity . . .[restrict]of the kidnappers is unknown.
The Higher Security Committee later on Sunday evening put out a statement denying any involvement in the disappearance of the former military head of Tarhouna’s Military Council. The deputy chairman of the Committee, Tariq Zembo, said it was working with other authorities to find him.
According military sources reported by the Benghazi-based Corina newspaper, Habshi has been targeted for several months after denouncing the old regime at the beginning of the revolution. He first fled from Tarhuna to Tunisia and then via Egypt to Benghazi where he formed the Awfeya battalion.
The source suggested that former regime associates might be behind the abduction. He called on the national army to beef up its presence the airport road and its surrounding area in the hope of finding Habshi?.
There are elements in Tarhouna opposed to the revolution. In April, there was an attempt to murder the deputy head of Tarhouna Military Council, Colonel Abdullah Hussein, and a colleague, Colonel Salim Souissi. Last month, armed men from Tarhouna blocked security forces from Misrata from heading to Bani Waleed to tackle counter revolutionary forces there.
At the time an interior ministry official said that what was happening in Tarhouna was evidence of backing there for Qaddafi supporters in Bani Walid. [/restrict]