By Noorah Ibrahim and Ashraf Abdul Wahab
Benghazi / Tripoli, 20 June 2014:
Airforce planes loyal to . . .[restrict]Operation Dignity leader Khalifa Hafter this afternoon destroyed at least one of two ships allegedly carrying weapons into the port of Derna.
Operation Dignity spokesman Mohamed Hejazi told the Libya Herald that the warplanes had bombed and destroyed two ships close to the Derna shore, claiming they had sailed from Ras Al-Hilal. Eye witnesses on the ground in Derna confirmed the bombing but one of them told this newspaper that only one of the trawlers appeared to have been hit.
Certainly only one was seen to be burning with what appeared to be the sound of exploding ammunition coming from onboard. No one was clear how many aircraft had made the attack, nor if there had been any casualties.
There are reports that the vessels, both unnamed, had originally come from Misrata. A reliable source in that city confirmed that other boats had set sail from there and been attacked “several days ago”. In that case, the source said, the weapons and ammunition had not been destined for Ansar Al-Sharia but for the 17 February Brigade. This formation has, however, allied itself with Ansar.
Since the end of last month, as revealed in this newspaper, the airforce has been flying reconnaissance missions over Derna but it is not believed that it has delivered any attacks until now.
Hejazi said Operation Dignity had also carried out air strikes over Ganfouda on the outskirts of Benghazi this evening. He said the weapons stores belonging to Libya Shield No. 1 forces under the command of Wissam Ben Hamid had been destroyed in the attack.