By Hadi Fornaji.
Tripoli, 26 September:
Thousands of Misratans turned out for the funeral of Omran Shaban yesterday, to commemorate the man credited . . .[restrict]with finding Muammar Qaddafi in Sirte last year.
Shaban, who discovered the former dictator bleeding in a drainpipe on 20 October 2011, succumbed yesterday to wounds inflicted by Qaddafi’s supporters whilst in captivity in Bani Walid.
Prayers were held for the Misratan in one of the city’s main sports stadiums before his body was carried out for burial in a major procession flanked by police cars, Supreme Security Committee vehicles and local brigades.
Shaban was taken hostage along with a colleague in the former Qaddafi stronghold of Bani Walid on 12 July, four days after two prominent Misratan journalists were captured in the town.
Believed to have been shot during the initial kidnapping, Shaban was held in captivity for two months before being released on 13 September following mediation efforts led by National Congress Speaker Mohammed Magarief.
He succumbed to his wounds yesterday in the American Hospital in Paris and was flown back to Misrata to be laid to rest.
Described as a “martyr” by Magarief, the Congress speaker pledged yesterday to find his captors and bring them to justice. [/restrict]