By Libya Herald reporters.
Benghazi, 29 June 2016:
Militants trapped in Benghazi’s Ganfouda have posted pictures, purportedly of their children, in support of their continued appeal for their families to be allowed out of the besieged enclave.
The children, who look neatly turned-out and not in obvious distress are holding up signs, some of which read “Why are you bombing us? We are not guilty”; “I have lost my smile and I am still a child”; “Cutting off water is a crime” and one poster in French “Stop the random bombardment”.
Meanwhile militants are using social media to demand that the UN, among others, should insist that their wives and children be allowed to leave through the tightening cordon. The Libyan National Army claims it has agreed to this but insists that everyone leaving must be searched. This has been rejected by the militants who consist of IS and Ansar Al-Sharia terrorists as well as members of the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council.
The army is reported to have made further progress today taking control of an area on the Garyounis side of Ganfouda called Abu Sneeb. Casualties from today have not yet been revealed.
However military sources said that 22 soldiers died and 61 were injured in the fighting that finally cleared the militants out of Garyounis. Commanders have warned residents to stay away from their homes because many have been booby-trapped and need to be checked by bomb-disposal experts.
Pictures have been posted which are said to show a recently-overrun IED bomb-making factory, with shells primed to be detonated by wire.
For their part IS media have published shots of their fighters in defensive positions one with a sniping rifle and another with a 106mm antitank rifle mounted on a technical. It is unclear when these images were taken.
Today there were the first reports of passive resistance by militant sympathisers. Graffiti are being sprayed, particularly in the Old Leithi area and posters commemorating dead LNA soldiers are being torn down and defaced. A source close to the army said that the internal security service was investigating “these acts of sabotage”.