By Noora Ibrahim and Moutaz Ahmed.
Benghazi, 25 June 2014:
The deaths of three security security forces members and 17 . . .[restrict]wounded have been reported in Benghazi after Ansar Al-Sharia forces opened fire on a Benghazi Joint Security Room (BJSR) convoy as it moved to protect polling stations.
The spokesperson for Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC) told the Libya Herald that of the 17 wounded two were in critical condition following the attack and that staff at the hospital were struggling to cope with the wave of casualties.
Head of Saiqa Special Forces Investigations Unit Fadel Al-Hassi said clashes had now spread across city’s Hawari district where the first shots were fired and appear to be concentrated around the headquarters of Benghazi Security Directorate.
Hassi said the security directorate had been hit by a number of anti-aircraft shells and stressed that no polling centres had been attacked during the fighting.
Spokesman for Operation Dignity Mohamed Hejazi told this paper that the military forces had been attacked by the Ansar Al-Sharia Radallah Sahati battalion, calling the assault a terrorist act. He explained that the BJSR convoy had been moving to protect polling stations in the Hawari and Gwarsha districts when it was attacked.
Hejazi said Operation Dignity had agreed to suspend all of its activities over the course of today’s voting, allowing residents the opportunity to vote in safety. He added that Dignity forces would respond to the attacks with great force.
All roads to Hawari have now been shut by security forces in an effort to contain the fighting and Operation Dignity aircraft have flown over the area a number of times.