By Libya Herald staff.
21 October 2014:
Libya National Army forces in the west of the country claim to be on the move . . .[restrict]again – towards Zawia and from there will head to Tripoli.
A senior LNA commander told the Libya Herald this evening that following an order from the government to retake the capital, his forces had moved from Nasiriya and Zahra towards within 10 kilometres of Zawia. He also claimed that Gharian was now surrounded following the seizure of a back road between the mountain town and Al-Rabta from Misratan forces, that Gharian forces were running out of ammunition and that negotiations to surrender it had begun with the town’s leaders. They had been given until tomorrow to do so, he said.
Kikla and Gwailish were now under army control, he also claimed.
None of these claims can as yet be verified although pro-Libya Dawn media reported this morning that Kikla was under intensive bombardment.
The government today released a statement from Beida ordering the army in the west of the country to liberate the capital from what it called “terrorist groups” a reference to Libya Dawn forces. The statement also called on youth in Tripoli to be ready to help the army liberate Tripoli but to refrain from acts of violence or revenge.
It further said that the head of the former General National Congress, Nuri Abu Sahmain, and Omar Al-Hassi, who was appointed prime minister by the rump Congress, would be arrested and put on trial for carrying out a coup d’état against the country’s legitimate authorities.
Meanwhile, according to the LNA source, there had been fighting as the army moved towards Zawia and that clashes were still taking place although resistance generally was “very weak”. However he added, the army did not want to overextend itself at present. “We are sticking to our plans,” he said.
In line with the government’s call on youth in Tripoli to rise up against Libya Dawn, he also claimed his forces were in communication with fighters in the capital and had been smuggling weapons to them.
“We have a lot of prisoners,” he added, but those who were under age had been released. Most, he alleged, had said that they had joined for the money and been promised LD 50 a day.
As to Libya Dawn wounded, they had been handed over to the Red Crescent. “We don’t have enough medical supplies to treat them”, he stated. [/restrict]