Leading Ajdabiya militants arrested after Misrata gunfight

By Libya Herald reporter.

Tunis, 11 October, 2017:

Two top militants from Ajdabiya have been caught by Misratan security forces after a shootout at a farm near Misrata in which one person was killed and several others injured.

The two have been named as Saadi Abdullah Ibrahim Abukhazim Al-Noufli and Ibraik Mazek, more commonly known as Ibraik Al-Masriya. Both are leading members of the Ajdabiya Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council (ARSC), the pro-Ansar Al-Sharia militia that was active in the town until last year.

Misratan security forces have been on high alert since the attack on the court buildings in the city a week ago, on the lookout for terrorists or potential terrorists. Following a tip-off, units from nine local security forces raided a farm in the Al-Sakt area south of the city today. They were met with gunfire and in the ensuing battle, one of the group at the farm was killed and a number of others wounded. Two members of the Misrata forces were also injured, one seriously. The clash ended with militants overwhelmed and surrendering. There were 24, including Al-Noufli and Al-Masriya. All are now in custody.

Military forces in Misrata were allied to various of the eastern militant groups such as the ARSC, the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council and the Benghazi Defence Brigades (BDB) until the Brak Al-Shatti massacre in May.

Since then there has been crackdown on them. ARSC member Usama Jadhran, brother of Ajdabiya’s ousted mayor Salem and the more notorious Ibrahim, the oil blockader, was arrested at Misrata airport in August while trying to catch a flight to Istanbul. Last month the BRSC spokesman, Mohamed Bakir, known as The Bee (Al-Nahla) was arrested in Misrata. Several other BRSC and BDB members are also reported to have been seized.

Both Noufli and Masriya are said to have close links to the BDB and to have been involved in fighting in Sebha as well as in the oil crescent, and in the Brak massacre.

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