By Saber Ayyub and Ajnadin Mustafa.
Tripoli, 3 December 2014:
Rada forces say they have killed a member of the Islamic State (IS) . . .[restrict]organisation in Tripoli’s Fournaj suburb whom they claim was carrying a bomb with him at the time.
Local sources, however, name the man as Murad Al-Gmati, the leader of the capital’s Islamist Furqan brigade. He was said to have been shot dead near the Fournaj roundabout this afternoon after a chase which started in central Tripoli’s Mizran Street. His vehicle was reported to have been heading towards the brigade’s headquarters near Tripoli University’s Section B campus.
Following the killing, checkpoints and roadblocks manned by the brigade and its allies were seen across the capital. This evening there were fears of clashes between Rada and Furqan and it pro-jihadist allies.
According to an eyewitness, Rada stopped a car near the Fournaj roundabout and then started shooting at it when one of the occupants opened the door to get out. He was first shot in the leg then, allegedly, in the head. Another occupant of the car was wounded, then grabbed and taken away by Rada forces. The driver speed off attempting to escape but was cornered and arrested nearby.
According to another source close to Rada, led by Abdul Raouf Kara, Gmati had been ambushed. “The intention was to kill him,” he said.
The killing follows the arrest by Rada last week of the deputy head of Tripoli religious endowments office, Mohamed Atkitek, suspected of involvement with IS.
There has been a split within the Islamists who control the capital, between those who are Salafists and jihadists. Rada are in the former camp. IS is the most radical of the later. [/restrict]