Libya seizes 100 tanks from pro-Gaddafi militia after car bombing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 25 August, 2012, 8:28am


More than 100 tanks were seized from a militia loyal to Libya's ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi as authorities hunted the perpetrators of a double car bombing, the interior ministry said.

A ministry official said investigations into the attacks on Sunday had helped detect the heavily armed militia, whose members posed as "revolutionaries" and were housed in barracks in Souk al-Ahad, near Tarhuna, 60 kilometres southeast of Tripoli.

"More than 100 tanks and 26 missile launchers were seized" from the militia, Abdelmonem al-Hur, spokesman for the interior ministry's high security committee, said.

The car bombs killed two people and wounded four others in Tripoli in the dawn attacks, which took place as Muslims prepared to attend prayers on the first day of the Eid ul-Fitr, the end of Ramadan festivities.

The spokesman said that one person was killed and eight others were wounded as security forces arrested the militia's leader, Khaled Ibrahim Krid, in an operation on Wednesday. Thirteen people were also arrested while three others escaped.

The interior ministry had on Wednesday reported clashes between members of the security services and suspects allegedly involved in Sunday's blasts.

The pro-Gaddafi militia, who are known as Katibat al-Awfiya (Brigade of the Faithful) was known internally as the "Brigade of Martyr Muammar Gaddafi", who was killed last October, according to al-Hur. "We believed the Katibat defended Libya and the revolution, but it turned out to be contrary," he said.

Hur acknowledged that Libya's security forces had been infiltrated by supporters of the former regime.