By Adam Ali and Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 30 October:
The government has said the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the . . .[restrict]youth of Benghazi are “removing areas and dens of terrorism” as fighting in the centre of the city continues into its second day.
The internationally-recognised government said extremists in the city had “terrorised the people, wreaked havoc, killed, kidnapped, and carried out destructive operations, shedding the blood of Libyans”. It said the “men of the army, police, activists and journalists as well as unarmed civilians“, had been targeted by Islamist groups.
Fighting has continued today in the the districts of Hadaiq, Salmani, Sabri, Sidi Mansour and Al-Jalaa after yesterday pro-government forces began an assault on the heart of the city. Clashes have been ongoing also in Garyounis between 17 February Brigade and 204 Tank Battalion.
Residents have reported that they are terrified by the ferocious fighting, some of the heaviest in the city in recent months, as missiles fall on residential areas. In the Hadaiq district, a family miraculously survived a direct hit from a shell as they were driving.
The clashes show little sign of abating with reports that LNA reinforcements of 148 Infantry Battalion from Ajdabia have positioned themselves on the outskirts of Benghazi.
In Ajdabia itself a suicide bomber attacked an army checkpoint on the outskirts of the town. Residents told the Libya Herald that the explosion killed only the bomber. His truck, loaded with explosives, reportedly detonated some 100 metres way from the Sidi Ati entrance to the east of the town.
Those killed in a rocket strike on a funeral gathering in Majouri in Benghazi yesterday have been identified as Mohamed Maghrabi, Adel Ramadan Al-Basar, Embarak Ali Embarak, Salem Al-Fallah, Khaled Yousef Sherif, Faraj Mohmed Al-Magrabi, Saleh Erhaim.
It is believed that the six individuals were killed after Mohammed Hejazi the spokesman for Operation Dignity briefly attended the gathering. The subsequent rocket attacks seemed to have been intended for him.