By Sami Zaptia.
Tripoli, 25 August:
At a press conference called late on Thursday evening, the Under Secretary for the Ministry of Interior . . .[restrict]Omar Khadrawi condemned the Eid car bombings as cowardly acts of terrorism and assured the general public that the security situation was under control.
He confirmed that the investigations had led the authorities to the army barracks in Sug il Ahad on the outskirts of Tarhuna where they discovered a cell ‘preparing for the bombing of other buildings and official sites’.
Under Secretary Khadrawi confirmed that Supreme Security Committee (SSC) personnel were fired upon and that the subsequent clashes led to the death of one and the serious injury of 8 SSC members.
He denied the widely publicized report of 32 people being arrested and confirmed that only 13 were arrested and that 3 had fled.
He admitted that the barracks was assumed to be under the control of the National Army, but that it had been infiltrated by a pro Qaddafi cell. He admitted that the barracks was full of heavy arms and that it had now been emptied.
The Under Secretary would not name those arrested citing ongoing investigations which he said needed more time.
Asked if there was a link between the Benghazi assassinations and the Tripoli Eid car bombings, Under Secretary Khadrawi, denied any links.
However, he revealed that there were links with former regime supporters in both Cairo. He was hopeful that Egyptian police was on the verge of making some arrests in Egypt with those arrested in Libya.
Khadrawi called upon all Libyan citizens to cooperate with the security personnel and to report anything suspicious using the 1515 telephone number.
He also called upon citizens to have patience and understanding when stopped for a search at car checkpoints. ‘All citizens must accept responsibility for security’ he stressed, ‘not just the security personnel’.
He assured the general public that all is well and that the security situation was under control. He pointed out that the bombings were an attempt by the enemies of the Revolution to spoil the celebrations of the Liberation of Tripoli anniversary and the Eid celebrations.
He called upon the media and the public to be aware of and avoid the spreading of rumours over the security situation.
Under Secretary Khadrawi, mindful not to turn the incident into a regional or tribal issue, stressed the great co-operation received by the security authorities from Tarhuna local elders, Local Council and Military Council.
Regarding the cars used for the bombings, Khadrawi confirmed that some of them were stolen. He urged citizens to register their cars and confirmed the authorities’ intention to start stopping cars without number plates as of Saturday. Cars will not be released to their owners until they were officially registered, he explained. [/restrict]