Africa 15.8.2016 12:30 pm

Libyan militia leader accused of war crimes by UN

Lebanese soldiers stand guard during a protest in support of a Salafist preacher in Tripoli Photo: Supplied

Lebanese soldiers stand guard during a protest in support of a Salafist preacher in Tripoli Photo: Supplied

Militia members loyal to Haitham Tajouri carried out raids, involving heavy weaponry and armoured vehicles, on Misratan intelligence personnel.

The Libyan capital, Tripoli, remains tense after one of the country’s prominent militia leaders, accused of war crimes by the UN, ordered his Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade to carry out attacks on intelligence quarters in the capital on Sunday morning.

Militia members loyal to Haitham Tajouri carried out raids, involving heavy weaponry and armoured vehicles, on Misratan intelligence personnel, reported the Libya Herald.

Intelligence Headquarters in Fornaj, a building in Salaheddin and a site in Ain Zara, as well as the intelligence offices at Mitiga and Tripoli airports, were all targeted in the attack.

“Three portable cabins used by intelligence officers in Ain Zara came under heavy fire early in the morning and were burnt down. Militiamen also stormed some nearby apartments apparently searching for particular individuals,” reported the Herald.

Reports of casualties at the time of going to press remain uncertain.

The revolutionary Misrata Brigades, whose intelligence was targeted, was formed in 2011. They gained power in the cities of Misrata, Sirte and Tripoli after they seized weapons from forces loyal to the late ousted dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Following Sunday’s assault, Tajouri also called for the arrest of Sheikh Sadek Ghariani, the Grand Mufti of Libya, who has been heavily involved in the North African country’s political developments.

There was no response from Libya’s presidency council to Sunday’s events, just as the council remained mum when Tajouri’s men over took the health ministry building last week.

It was unclear as to the motivation of Sunday’s attack. However, last November Tajouri briefly seized the prime ministry, then occupied by Khalifa Ghwell, the prime minster of Libya Dawn’s National Salvation government, set up by the rump of the General National Congress GNC) reported the Herald.

Meanwhile, according to the UN, Tajouri was responsible for the murder of Gaddafi personnel detained in an illegal prison he ran at his Al-Naam camp in the city of Tajoura.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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