Attack on Libya airbase kill 141 people
- Author: Leroy Wright May 20, 2017,
May 20, 2017, 11:16
LNA spokesman Ahmad al-Mesmari said the attack on the Brak al-Shati airbase had been carried out by a brigade known as he Third Force, a militia group nominally aligned with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).
The Defense Ministry of UN-installed Presidency Council held on Friday Dignity Operation forces responsible for the new military escalation in the south due to their frequent air and ground attacks on Taminhint Airbase, the headquarters of the Third Force, which led to several casualties.
On Friday, GNA said in a statement that it suspended Mahdi al-Barghathi, its defence minister, and ordered an investigation to determine his role in Thursday's incident.
LNA, headed by General Khalifa Haftar, does not recognize the authority of the GNA and is linked to the rival House of Representatives (HoR), the country's elected legislature, which operates from the city of Tobruk on Libya's eastern Mediterranean coast.
According to reports, the clashes took place at Brak El-Shati airbase. "They weren't armed. majority were executed", the LNA member said.
The rights organization Human Rights Watch, citing a medical official, an eyewitness report and photographic and video evidence, said the attacking forces had killed "scores of LNA fighters, some with bullets to the head, in apparent acts of summary execution".
"We left the base before as part of our military strategy, and we attacked it because Bin Nayel and his people were targeting Tamanhent", Gliwan told Libya Al-Ahrar TV. An LNA spokesperson accused pro-government forces of summarily executing unarmed soldiers.
An informal truce had been reached this month over the matter, after Gen Haftar met Fayez al-Sarraj, the UN-backed prime minister.
The unity government's defence ministry laid the blame on "those who started bombing Tamenhant base with warplanes and tanks", referring to Haftar's forces.
In new violence on Friday, a pro-Haftar tribal chief, Sheikh Ibrayek Alwati, and five other people including a child were killed in a auto bombing outside a mosque in the eastern city of Slouq, medical and security sources said.