LNA and Bunyan Marsous forces clash briefly near Sirte

By Libya Herald reporters.

Part of Qasr Abu Hadi (Photo: Google maps)

Part of Qasr Abu Hadi near yesterday’s clash (Photo: Google maps)

Tripoli, 6 July 2017:

There has been a clash near Sirte between Bunyan Marsous (BM) units and forces loyal to the Libyan National Army (LNA)

The BM operations room said that the encounter yesterday at Qasr Abu Hadi, south of Sirte, had happened when its men were tracking suspected IS terrorists. The BM force had been attacked by “tens of vehicles” in three columns.

An LNA source has said that there was a reconnaissance in force in the area made up of four tanks and 40 vehicles.

The BM claimed that the LNA force consisted of irregular units led by Qaddafi-era officers from the Qadhadfa and Magharba tribes.

Neither side mentioned any casualties nor the extent of the gunfire that was exchanged. The BM reported that the LNA force was still at Qasr Abu Hadi.  It did not say what had happened to the IS suspects. It had first put out a statement saying their men had been attacked by the IS fighters which it later changed to explain they had in fact come under fire from the LNA .

The BM operations room said today that it was urging the Presidency Council (PC) to investigate how the LNA came to be operating in the same area where IS were active.

Abu Hadi, where Muammar Qaddafi claimed to have been born, is 2km east of Gardabya, which serves as the the region’s main airport.

The incident comes only a week after LNA’s Saiqa Special Forces Commander Wanis Bukhamada praised the role of BM in ousting IS from Sirte last December. He said the LNA would welcome any regular forces that helped in the fight against terrorism.

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