By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 18 June 2014:
Militant Islamists have destroyed another historic tomb at Derna’s celebrated Sahaba Mosque. Bulldozers were brought . . .[restrict]in during the pas few days to reduce the tomb of Mohamed Bey, a 17th century local governor, to rubble.
Graffiti was also found on the Sahaba cemetery walls condemning General Khalifa Haftar’s Operation Dignity, expressed support for the Caliphate and Daash (Arabic for ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) and accusing people in Bersis, the eastern gateway to Benghazi of being kuffar (infidels).
The Sahaha mosque has been subject to several attacks by Islamists. In July 2012, a bomb destroyed the tomb of Zuhayr Ibn Qais Al-Balawi, a Companion of the Prophet who helped bring Islam to the region.
Last month there was another bomb at the mosque.
The mosque’s historic cemetery is believed to include the graves of about 70 followers of the Prophet who arrived in Libya with the Muslim army led by great Muslim commander Amr Ibn Al-As.
Mohamed Bey rebuilt the mosque, at one time known as the Grand Mosque, giving it 42 domes and a new minaret. He also built an aqueduct to supply Derna with water.