By Libya Herald reporter.
Benghazi, 10 December 2016:
Four Libyan families and three foreign workers were evacuated from Ganfouda today during a six-hour ceasefire announced by the Libyan National Army (LNA) to enable remaining civilians trapped in the area to leave.
However, according to LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari, the militants did not abide by the ceasefire, which came into affect at 10am local time today, and started firing when the families tried to leave.
Announcing it last night, LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari said that it would suspend operations and allow families to come out of the district, if there were any left there. The LNA would not go in and try to rescue anyone.
Three weeks ago, at the time militants were finally crushed in neighbouring Gwarsha, the LNA said that with all efforts now concentrated on Ganfouda, families still there should try to head towards its front lines.
The LNA had previously said that it allow women, children and the elderly to leave freely but males of fighting age had to be considered as potential terrorists and therefore had to be arrested and interrogated.
So far, there has been no statement that anyone has taken advantage of the ceasfire and left. However, there are reports that two members of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council have been arrested while trying to flee Ganfouda.
The six-hour ceasefire has been welcomed by UN Special Envoy Martin Kobler.
“I call on parties to the conflict in Ganfouda area to ensure smooth and safe evacuation process during the ceasefire period. Civilians must always be protected and should not be subjected to any form of harassment or maltreatment during this process,” he said.