By Maha Ellawati.
Benghazi, 30 August:
A state of high alert has been declared in Benghazi, according to a statement from the deputy . . .[restrict]interior minister responsible for eastern Libya, Wanis Al-Sharif.
“We officially declare a state high alert in the city of Benghazi indefinitely. We therefore request that all members of the Libyan army, the police force, the Preventive Police Unit, Supreme Security Committee and Thuwar battalions report to their bases.”
It is understood that the decision followed intelligence reports that armed groups were planning sabotage attacks in Benghazi. Saturday, 1 September, marks the 43rd anniversary of the 1969 seizure of power by Qaddafi and security forces are concerned that Qaddafi supporters might use this as an opportunity for violence.
On Wednesday a police patrol came under attack from small-arms fire at a market in the city. A subsequent raid by security forces revealed large numbers of weapons and ammunition, which were confiscated.
Meanwhile, it is reported that a man has been arrested in the city in possession of a collection of explosive devices, narcotics and several gallons of gasoline. He was seen acting suspiciously behind the Central Bank of Libya building in Omar Mukhtar Street, from where police personnel followed him and arrested him. It is believed that he had attempted to break into the Commerce and Development Bank building in nearby Gamal Abdul Naser Street, in order to plant a bomb.
On Monday, an armed group attacked the Criminal Investigation Department’s premises in the city. There were no casualties and two of the attackers were detained. [/restrict]