By Libya Herald staff.
Derna, 16 December 2103:
The Air Force has denied that a helicopter which crashed into the sea off Derna . . .[restrict]yesterday evening was one of its aircraft. It is reported, however, that it belonged to a civilian outfit but was being used by a military group in the town.
It is thought that the crash, which took place around the time of Maghrib (sunset) prayers, was an accident. An eyewitness told the Libya Herald that the helicopter started spinning round; the main rotar was working but not the tail rotor. Nor was there any smoke from the helicopter when it fell into the sea off the Saida Khadija area at the western end of the town.
A sea search and rescue mission was mounted but so far, sources say, no one on board the helicopter has been found.
Later in the night five explosions shook the town but no one was killed or injured. Three of the blasts are said to have been the result of RPGs being fired into the air. The other two were bombs. One went off outside the local council offices, damaging the front of the building, Brigadier Ahmed Al-Shelawy, Derna’s new military commander was quoted as saying by the news agency Ajwa Al-Bilad.
The other blew up the car of prominent local, Suhail Al-Hassadi. Hassidi was at home at the time.
Three days ago, there was a bomb attack on a Lebanese-owned restaurant in Derna and the day before that a bomb badly damaged the offices of the Justice & Construction Party in the town.
Shelawy was quoted by Ajwa Al-Bilad as saying that two cars, not one, had been damaged in bomb attacks. [/restrict]