Libya forces arrest suspected Al-Qaeda leaders in Tripoli raid

Libya forces arrest suspected Al-Qaeda leaders in dawn Tripoli raid

2 min read
25 July, 2019
Several leaders of the militant group, along with a large cache of weapons and documents, were allegedly found in the raid on a Tripoli suburb.

The group posted photos of the raid which some said were 'staged' [Twitter]
A Libyan militia has arrested a number of Al-Qaeda-linked militant leaders in a raid near the capital Tripoli, the group said.

The Misrata Joint Security Force carried out the raid against "wanted terrorists, classified as Al-Qaeda leaders", the group announced on Facebook on Thursday

The force is allied to the UN-recognised Government of National Accord's (GNA) interior ministry, who are fighting a loose alliance of militias supporting General Khalifa Haftar from gaining control of the capital.

The dawn operation "in a suburb of Tripoli" on Wednesday led to the arrest of individuals "linked to attacks launched in the capital", the group said.

The main target, an Algerian national fighting under the name "Al-Chaoui", was rounded up along with several wanted Libyans, it added, without giving names or the total number arrested.

The force published a video purported to be of the raid, including footage of three people wearing blue uniforms with their hands bound.

Some critical observers called the published images either "recreated" or "staged".

It said it had also seized weapons, grenades, ammunition, documents and material used to produce explosives, publishing photos demonstrating the cache.

Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Militants and people-traffickers have taken advantage of the unrest to gain a foothold in the North African country.

Rival administrations and multiple militias are now vying for power, with the Tripoli-based GNA that holds Libya's west at odds with a parallel administration based in the country's east and backed Khalifa Haftar. 

Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army launched an offensive on 4 April to take the capital, but his fighters have faced stiff resistance from GNA forces, including the powerful Misrata militia. 

At least 1,000 people have been killed in the battle for Tripoli, according to the World Health Organisation.