By Jamel Adel.
Tripoli, 29 January 2014:
Sebha residents took to the streets this afternoon to celebrate the re-capture of the . . .[restrict]nearby Tamenhint airbase as pockets of Qaddafi supporters in the town fired rockets at the castle, held by the army’s 6th Brigade.
Speaking by phone to Tripoli this afternoon, local media man Hussein Mohammed said that people were celebrating near the cemetery, awaiting the imminent arrival of the Misratan forces who captured the airbase. Car horns being blasted and guns being fired into the air could be heard in the background.
While the celebrations were happening, pro-Qaddafi elements in the formerly named Hay Al-Fatah district started firing missiles at the town’s historic castle, Mohamed said.
The castle, held by the Awlad Sulaiman-dominated 6th Brigade, has been hit several times since clashes began between members of the Awlad Sulaiman and Tebu communities at the beginning of the month. The walls have have sustained substantial damage.
As soon as the Misratans arrived, Mohamed added, they would start to “cleanse” the Hay Al-Fatah area, now renamed “Grad” and the Sharakat Al-Hindiya, (“Indian Company”) buildings where Qaddafi supporters were, he said, taking shelter.
Meanwhile, Zintani forces who have also been dispatched to Sebha are maintaining a cordon around it, the objective being to arrest Qaddafi supporters trying to flee the town.
“We don’t want to get involved in (Sebha’s) tribal problems,” Zintan Local Council spokesman, Umar Matooq said this afternoon, confirming that the forces would not enter the town. [/restrict]