By Michel Cousins
Tripoli, 29 July:
A senior Qaddafi-regime military intelligence official was assassinated in Benghazi yesterday in what is being described as . . .[restrict]a hit list killing.
Suleiman Buzraidah was killed on Saturday evening by a single shot fired from a white Chevrolet while he was going to Isha prayers near his home in the city’s Al-Leithi district. He was rushed to Benghazi Medical Centre but died shortly afterwards.
“It was a very professional killing”, said one Benghazi resident who lives nearby. “They were clearly waiting for him.”
It is being reported that Buzraidah was number 12 on a death list drawn up by a supposedly Islamist vigilante group. The list is rumoured to contain 106 names of Qaddafi-era officials. Buzraidah was a colonel in the former regime but was said to have continued to work for the NTC.
On Thursday, another Qaddafi regime official, Hameed Ali Kunduz, was assassinated in the city in a remote control car bombing. He had worked with the Internal Security Agency. He is believed to have been killed by the same shadowy group as killed Buzraidah.
Last month, Saleh Al-Warfali, another retired Qaddafi-era intelligence colonel, was assassinated in front of his home in the city.
Meanwhile earlier today, Sunday, it was reported that a group of unknown assailants, in 20 armed vehicles, threatened to attack the National Security Headquarters in the city’s Hawari area unless a number of prisoner were freed.
On Friday, bombs containing at least 40 kilos of explosives were found behind the Criminal Investigation Department building and the Police Patrol Department of Benghazi Directorate in Hawari.
The bombs were defused by members of the specialized Department of Explosives. According to one of the technicians involved in dismantling them, the bombs were fitted with a car alarm system which could be easily set off by a remote signal.
The bombs were said to be strong enough to cause extensive damage to the building departments as well as surrounding structures including the houses opposite the Directorate.
The north court was extensively damaged in a triple bomb attack on 27 April.
The Buzraidah killing and the attacks are reported to have increased fears in the city that there will be more bloodshed.
“People very nervous about it,” said Salah Benali who works for a UN agency in Benghazi. “They fear that it will start revenge attacks and that there will be more killings.” [/restrict]