Tripoli, 24 August:
More than 100 tanks have been seized from a militia described as loyal to deposed-leader Muammar Qaddafi, according to . . .[restrict]government officials.
On Thursday, government forces clashed with members of the Al-Awfia brigade, who were discovered fighting alongside a group of suspects being sought in connection with Sunday’s fatal car bombings in Tripoli.
Interior Ministry Spokesman Abdelmonem Al-Hur said that nearly 30 rocket launchers were also captured when security forces raided the group’s camp near Tarhuna.
The sheer size of the haul has surprised observers, who were not aware that the brigade retained so much armour in its possession.
When the Al-Awfia brigade temporarily seized Tripoli international airport in June, they brought with them just a single tank.
Reports about the size and scale of operations have been exaggerated in the past.
In July, there were widespread reports of a massive invasion force surrounding the former pro-Qaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid following the abduction of two Misratan journalists there.
The force was said to include over 1,000 men, more than 100 tanks and heavy artillery, and that it had gathered at the front-line checkpoint of Bir Dufan, just a few kilometres away from the town.
When the Libya Herald visited Bir Dufan, however, it was discovered that there was no invasion force, and that there never had been. [/restrict]