Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 21 March 2015:
In what appears to have been a hard day for Libya Dawn militias, one of its . . .[restrict]senior commanders, Salah Al-Burki, has been killed.
Burki, who commanded the Tripoli Abu Sleem Brigade but originally from Tarhouna, is said to have been killed in fighting in the Kassarat district of Aziziya. His body was brought to Tripoli this evening. He is said to have been a former member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and spent some time in Afghanistan, and later was imprisoned in the notorious Abu Sleem jail by Qaddafi.
There is also a report this evening that Salah Badi, probably the best known Misratan commander, may have been seriously hurt in the same fighting and is being treated in intensive care.
Three other Misrata Dawn commanders, Mazeq Mazeq of the Tajin Brigade, Walid Ismail of the Marsa Brigade and Faituri Ben Derdef of the Mahjoub Brigade are also reported as having been killed today although this has not yet been confirmed. Also reported to have been killed in the fighting in the Aziziya area was the deputy Tourism Minister, Zuhair Zein Al-Abdine.
One report says Mazeq and Ismail were killed in Sirte. However, others claim that they were killed in the Aziziya area during the clashes. For so many commanders to be killed or injured in one day is unusual and has given rise to suggestions that they were all at a meeting that was hit in an LNA strike.
In heavy fighting yesterday, Badi speaking by phone to the pro-Dawn Al-Nabaa TV denied Libyan National Army claims that they had overrun the area. Badi told the TV station that he was in the town and that his militiamen were driving the attackers out of the town. LNA sources have since claimed to have made a tactical withdrawal in order to regroup.
There are no reliable reports of casualties among fighters or civilians. This evening Nabaa TV went off the air for reasons that are not yet clear. [/restrict]