By Noora Ibrahim.
Benghazi, 26 May 2014:
A number of Benghazi districts remain in Ansar Al-Sharia hands, the spokesman for Khalifa Hafter has . . .[restrict]said.
Mohammed Hijazi told the Libya Herald that Hafter’s forces were resolved to put an end to the presence of armed Islamist groups in the city but that areas such as Guwarsha and Hawari in particular were still in the hands of Ansar Al-Sharia.
Hijazi said said the most significant inroads made in Benghazi had been in the area of Sidi Faraj where ferocious fighting took place on 16 May between Ansar Al-Sharia, February 17 Brigade and Operation Dignity, claiming the lives of around 70.
He said last night Hafter’s airforce planes had carried out bombing runs over Sidi Faraj, destroying yet more weapon stockpiles held by Islamist groups. He said, however, there was no doubt that extremists were still present in the area, although in fewer numbers.
Hijazi added in some districts Ansar Al-Sharia had regrouped. He said a building close to Suq Hadiqa had recently become occupied by the group and that they were present in the Laithi district. Ansar Al-Sharia checkpoints at the entrances to Gwarsha also remain in operation.
The spokesman said that crucially Operation Dignity was monitoring the groups ranged against it in Benghazi saying “We even know their shoe sizes”.
He said the forces had a number of ongoing operations and plans but that these could not be divulged to the media. [/restrict]