By Ayman Amzein.
Benghazi, 15 April 2016:
An IS drone seems to have recorded the death of four soldiers and the wounding of . . .[restrict]some ten others, two of them critically, in a triple suicide attack in Benghazi’s Hawari district today. The incident, which the so-called Islamic State says it carried out, happened early this afternoon near the new cemetery in Hawari.
For what appears to be the first time, IS issued an aerial picture of what it claimed to be today’s suicide bombing. It was apparently taken from a drone several hundred feet above the ground. It has not been possible to verify the images. However, in recent months, it has been established that IS has been using done technology to reconnoitre army positions and the movement of troops. This is, however, the first time that it appears they have used a drone camera to record an attack.
According to army sources, three vehicles approached troops near the cemetery which the army yesterday said it had secured. The drivers of two of the vehicles were shot before they could reach the army’s position, but still managed to blow themselves up, though causing no other injuries of fatalities. However in the third, reportedly an armoured vehicle, two soldiers were killed instantly and two others later died of their wounds. There are fears for the lives of two other injured soldiers who were reported to be in a critical condition.
In a separate incident a soldier was killed in a mine explosion at the nearby cement factory.
Much of the fighting today has been in the Hawari area although there were also some clashes in Suq Al-Hout, where there were also airstrikes. There were mortar explosions in Jamal Abdul Nasser street.
During the day, a spokesman for Saiqa Special Forces said that six soldiers had been killed and 25 wounded. However at that point, his figures included just one of the four killed in the suicide attack.
Further south of the city, the army’s general command claims to have taken control of the villages of Furjan and Masamir in the Tika area. Along with Hawari and Garyounis, these had been some of the militants’ remaining strongholds.
Meanwhile the general command has insisted that it will continue its operations relentlessly until all of Benghazi has been liberated. A spokesman said that airstrikes in Ganfouda had destroyed a militants’ ammunitions store. There were also air strikes in Sabri and Gwarsha.
There was further shelling of the militants’ Suq Al-Hout positions by naval vessels. It is now believed that the devastating mortar pattern that blew up an ammunition dump and damaged the naval vessel Janzour, came from Suq Al-Hout. Army sources said there were also overnight assaults on the district and also Sabri, the other terrorist isolated hold-out area, by helicopters using new night-vision equipment. [/restrict]