By Libya Herald reporter.
Beida, 28 September 2015:
The Beida headquarters of the Ali Hassan Al-Jaber Brigade were stormed and seized this morning . . .[restrict]in an operation ordered by the armed forces chief General Khalifa Hafter. It follows a move last week by the brigade’s head, Colonel Mohamed Bughafir, to join forces with the mujahideen in Derna against Islamic State forces in the area.
The agreement did not have the approval of Hafter and General Command, which officially regards the pro-Al-Qaeda mujahideen as only marginally less unacceptable than IS. Yesterday, following an order from Hafter to arrest Bughafir and seize the brigade’s Al-Tajish camp in Beida, military police, military intelligence and internal security attacked it, resulting in clashes with guards there.
It is reported that most of the brigade’s weapons and equipment did not fall into the security forces’ hands because most of the brigade, including Bughafir himself are currently in Derna.
It is thought that there may be additional reasons for Hafter’s order. Two other units – Brigade 71 coastguard under the command of Major Muftah Omar Hamza, and forces from Bomba Gulf air and naval base – also allied themselves to the mujahideen at the same time as Bughafir. There was, however, no mention of them in Hafter’s order yesterday. Moreover, following the mujahideen’s expulsion of IS from Derna, there was a tactical alliance between it and the Libyan National Army (LNA) with LNA aircraft targeting IS positions in nearby Fataieh.
Local Beida elders are now said to be mediating between the Ali Hassan Al-Jaber Brigade and General Command. [/restrict]