By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 13 April 2013:
Three members of the security forces were killed and four wounded in a drawn raid . . .[restrict]yesterday on Sebha’s main police station. The assault also saw 17 of the attackers captured.
One police source suggested that the assailants were from the Khamis Brigade, one of the Qaddafi regime’s most brutal units during the revolution.
The head of Sebha’s military council, Ahmed Al-Atteibi told AFP that three police guards had been killed in the attack, during which weapons and two vehicles were seized. The captured men were transferred immediately to a prison in Tripoli.
The dawn assault mirrors another attack in Sebha a fortnight ago today. On that occasion the target was the headquarters of the Southern Region Military Command. Two soldiers were killed, Colonel Musa Rizkallah Awami, a pilot and Sami Mohamed Abdullah Abuaisha Barasi, a private. Three men were wounded, one of them seriously. At the time, the attack was blamed on smugglers, angry at a local crackdown on their activities.
The following day, the Military Governor of the Southern Region Ramadan Barasi said that he hoped the attack would galvanise the government into providing the extra resources that they had promised.
Barasi told Libya Alwataneya that the force under his command had insufficient equipment and only 600 men, when an establishment of 5,000 was the minimum to secure the border. “We were told we were exaggerating when we said this, ” he commented, “Now, after this incident, I hope they will understand the situation”
Barasi also pointed out that soldiers and police from the north of the country were reluctant to serve in the south, not least because the posting attracted no additional benefits not grants.
Following last fortnight’s attack, the military proposed a curfew from midnight to 0600 hours and the banning of all unauthorised weapons within urban areas. These measures have not yet been implemented.
It also emerged today that border police have arrested a group of Libyans, allegedly trying to enter the country from Egypt with pro-Qaddafi material, which, the police said, was supposed to be taken to Sebha. They added that the arrest operation had been intelligence-led. The suspects were taken to Benghazi.