By Ashraf Abdul Wahab.
Tripoli, 7 August 2014:
Heavy shelling started around the Warshefana town of Zahra this evening after forces from Janzour and Zawia – part of the Operation Libya Dawn anti-Zintan/Warshefana alliance – retook Camp 27, west of Tripoli. According to sources in Zahra, militiamen from Zawia and Sabratha tried to enter the town. When shot at, they pulled back but then started firing a barrage of missiles into it.
Missiles have also again started falling in west Janzour, although it is impossible to say who is to blame.
The camp was taken by the Warshefana early on Tuesday from Libya Shield forces.
A Warshefana deputy commander who asked not to be identified insisted this afternoon that his forces had voluntarily evacuated the camp at dawn. He told the Libya Herald that they had pulled out taking a considerable amount of captured weaponry with them, including tanks and armoured vehicles, as well as some prisoners, and that nothing was left at the camp. “We did not want to lose any of our men or weapons [defending it],” he said. “We’ve taken everything. We’ll need them in other fights.”
The tanks and other weapons had been split up and stored across the Wershefana area, he said, inviting this newspaper to go and inspect them and verify his claims.
Pictures of the camp posted on Facebook when the Warshefana took it and again today by Janzour forces announcing that they had retaken it show it badly damaged. The claim that it was voluntarily evacuated by the Wasrshefana cannot be verified at present.
The Warshefana commander also claimed that among those captured when his forces took the camp very early on Tuesday morning were three Egyptians and a deputy leader of the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room who, he said, had admitted to having organised the kidnapping of five Egyptian diplomats in January after the leader of the LROR, Shaaban Hadia Al-Zawi, also known as Abu Abeida, was arrested in Egypt.
According to the Warshefana commander, the man, whom he named as Fadi Asslugi, had been wounded and was unconscious when caught two days ago. He was taken to Zahra hospital where he was interrogated when he regained consciousness this morning. It was then, the commander alleged, that he admitted his role in the kidnapping of the diplomats. He is also reported to have said that Al-Zawi had been in Egypt in January to coordinate with Egyptian militants against the then Field Marshal, now President, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. Asslugi is also reported to have divulged that Al-Zawi had left Libya for Tunisia recently and was now in Morocco.
None of the claims can be confirmed as yet.