By Seraj Essul.
Tripoli, 25 March 2103:
Air force . . .[restrict]pilots have requested guidance from the Grand Mufti, Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ghariani, about targeting smugglers on the southern Tunisian-Libyan border, according to the Libyan daily, Libya Al-Jadidah.
The air force has been carrying out reconnaissance flights over southern border areas to monitor smuggling operations and have fired on smuggler groups. Interior Minister Ashour Shuwail reported to Congress yesterday Sunday, on the issue.
An airman was quoted today by the newspaper saying that about 20 trucks smuggling Libyan fuel into Tunisia were crossing the border daily in the Wazen-Dhahiba area. Twenty-nine rockets had been fired at the smugglers, he said, not to hit them but to scare them.
The pilots want to know if it is morally right to strike and possibly kill the smugglers and said they were looking for a fatwa from the Grand Mufti on the issue.
The airman added there were problems knowing whether the smugglers were on Libyan territory or over the border in Tunisia. The smugglers were operating in a 20-square kilometre area south of Wazen and hiding out in inaccessible spots. When aircraft flew in, the smugglers rushed across the border to avoid being hit. The air force had asked Nalut Local Council for local information to help them.
The Grand Mufti’s office, the Dar Al-Ifta, says it has received no request as yet from the pilots. [/restrict]