By Umar Khan.
Tripoli, 17 November 2013:
The commander of an army unit has denied that his soldiers abandoned their Tajoura base in . . .[restrict]the face of a surprise dawn attack by Misratan forces on Saturday.
Misbah Alharna said that his men in Army Brigade 101 had fought back and held the attackers until they came under heavy shell fire, which left one of his men dead and eight other injured. Only then, he told Libyan news agency LANA, did they fall back.
However a Tajoura military council member told the Libya Herald: “We were betrayed by the National Army brigade which abandoned the post and cleared the way for this armed group to enter Tripoli.
“They didn’t put up a fight or called for reinforcement but simply abandoned their base. We pushed the Misratans out of the base after serious clashes but they did take out some equipment and ammunition when retreating from the base.”
The source said that the military council only learnt about the National Army brigade abandoning the post after dawn and immediately gathered its own forces to push the armed Misratan group back.
A senior member of the Tripoli Local Council, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the account of Tajoura military council. He said: “We were informed about the betrayal of the National Army brigade that abandoned its base and left us open to attack. Events like these shake our trust in the army. They had the men and weapons yet they fled instead of asking for assistance from revolutionaries or their headquarters”. [/restrict]