Tripoli, 6 October:
Government-controlled forces are preparing to enter the mountains surrounding Sousa following the fatal shooting of four policemen in the . . .[restrict]town by suspected Islamist militants on Wednesday.
Three officers were killed after a grenade attack on their checkpoint on Wednesday morning, whilst a fourth succumbed to his injuries the following day.
Colonel Hamid Hassi, the commander of the government forces, said that there were some 150 militants holed up in the Sousa mountains, equipped with 17 armed vehicles.
The militants, who are alleged to have links with Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, have been given an ultimatum to surrender or face the use of force.
One of the suspects in the killings has claimed that former Guantanamo Bay inmate Sufyan Ben Qamu, who lives in the nearby town of Derna, personally ordered the killing of the policemen and is amongst the group now surrounded in Sousa.
Ben Qamu was also one of the leaders of the Ansar Al-Sharia brigade, accused of involvement in the fatal attack on the US consulate in Benghazi on 11 September.
Govermnent forces are said to have air support at their disposal and are awaiting an order to attack if a peaceful settlement is not reached imminently. [/restrict]