By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 10 January 2014:
The Commander of a Sebha revolutionary brigade, Mansour Al-Aswad, was killed last night in Traghen after . . .[restrict]Tebu gunmen laid siege and then stormed the town’s police headquarters. The killing is thought to have been an act of retribution for Al-Aswad’s involvement in clashes between his Al-Haq brigade and Tebus in Sebha.
It is feared that it may lead to further intercommunal violence in the south.
Aswad had travelled to the small town of Taraghin, 140 kilometres south of Sebha, to attend a graduation ceremony for a police training course at the police headquarters. It is claimed he was specifically targeted by Tebus from Murzuk.
Also in attendance at the ceremony were Sebha’s Military Commander, Colonel Mohammed Al-Ayat, and the Head of Sebha’s Military Police, Omar Al-Shashou, both of whom were unhurt although they were seized when the headquarters was stormed.
The siege lasted nearly five hours. Ayoub Al-Zaroug, a local Tebu elder, told the Libya Herald that he and other elders had tried to mediate with the attackers for the safe release of Aswad, whom the gunmen were asking for specifically, before they stormed the building.
Zaroug said that after they had killed Aswad the Tebu attackers fled to their stronghold in Murzuk.
The assault on Aswad is said to have been an act of revenge for the deaths of over 40 Tebus during clashes in Sebha nearly two years ago. Three days of fighting in Sebha in March 2012 between Tebus and members of the Abu Seif tribe, from which most of the Al-Haq brigade are drawn, led to 70 deaths on both sides and left 150 wounded.
Security in Traghen has been non-existant in recent weeks. Four weeks ago, the head of the local council was murdered.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Toka, a Tebu resident in Sebha, said that four Tebus were reported killed in the town today with several others kidnapped amid renewed clashes.