By Noora Ibrahim and Motaz Ahmed.
Benghazi, 2 May 2014:
Heavy fighting broke out across Benghazi last night at around 2 am, reportedly . . .[restrict]between Saiqa Special Forces and Ansar Al-Sharia. At least four soldiers are known to have been killed.
A member of Saiqa Special Forces Brigade told the Libya Herald the worst of the fighting took place outside the headquarters of Benghazi Security Directorate (also known as Police Headquarters) in the city’s Hawari district. He said that clashes erupted after Saiqa blocked the road around the headquarters following an attack by Ansar Al-Sharia earlier in the night.
An eye-witness has said that around 20 technical vehicles belonging to Ansar Al-Sharia could be seen moving in convoy towards the police headquarters at around 2 am. Benghazi residents have said that the worst fighting was between then and the morning call to prayer at around 4 am but that sporadic shooting continued until seven o’ clock.
A doctor at Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC) told this paper that the bodies of four Special Forces members had been brought in. However, they had not been killed in the fighting but were murdered outside their base in the Boutani area and had had their throats cut. The doctor added that a further eight, also Saiqa Special Forces, had been brought in wounded in the clashes in Hawari. The total figure of the dead and wounded is yet to emerge.
The doctor added during the night some shots had hit BMC but could not say whether these were ricochets or had been been fired directly at the hospital.
Three days ago, two Saiqa Special Forces members were killed and two injured after a suicide bomber detonated explosives in his car at the entrance to the brigade’s 21 Battalion headquarters. The government stated in the aftermath of the attacks that they would provide authorities with all the resources at their disposal to ensure security in the city. [/restrict]