By Libya Herald reporters
Benghazi/Tripoli, 23 May 2017:
The Libyan National Army (LNA), says it has ousted a supposedly pro-Presidency Council militia from Sebha’s east central district of Mahdiya, capturing its camp together with weapons, ammunition and vehicles. No casualty figures have been announced, but LNA spokesman Colonel Ahmed Mismari has said that three enemy fighters were captured and the militia’s leader, Samir Busaifi, wounded. He also claimed that the assault on the camp by the LNA’s 116th Brigade and commanded by Masoud Jedi was strongly supported by armed local residents.
The militia, named Humat Libya, is reported to also comprise mainly local fighters.
The LNA’s 12th Battalion spokesman Mohamed Lefiris told the Libya Herald that it had credible intelligence that the Humat militia had been involved in the massacre at Brak Al-Shatti airbase last week. The information came from foreign fighters arrested by the 12th Battalion, Lefiris added.
Meanwhile, Mismari also revealed that the air force had bombed locations in Jufra last night, damaging enemy equipment and injuring personnel. He referred to the latter as members of Al-Qaeda. He also disclosed that the armed forces were now heading towards Tamenhint.
For their part, tribal elders from the area have ordered civilians to keep away from the airbase for their own safety. On Saturday, giving the defenders 72 hours to depart, they called on locals to go there to force the mainly Misratan 13th Battalion and their allies to quit. It is reported that with the deadline passed, they have now decided to lay siege to the base, not allowing anyone in or out.