By Maha Suliman.
Benghazi, 21 December 2014:
A father of six died after a rocket smashed through the walls of a Benghazi mosque . . .[restrict]last night, during the opening lines of Maghrib prayers.
The dead man, 51 year-old Adel Butalag, was seriously injured in his stomach and leg. He died of a heart attack shortly after reaching the Benghazi Medical Centre, hospital sources told the Libya Herald.
Three other men were injured in the blast, including a Tunisian who was seriously wounded by flying shrapnel. He is now understood to be in a stable condition. The other two men sustained minor injuries.
Local residents described Batalag as a highly-respected member of the local community. Despite the ongoing violence in the city, the neighbourhood was last night reeling from the shock of losing such a popular local figure.
The Al-Hamid mosque in Benghazi’s Fuiyhat district, behind Al-Itihad and Al-Khansa schools, was only completed this year, with prayers starting during Ramadan. The missile that hit it was one of three that damaged the residential area of Fuwayhat yesterday.
Another rocket fell on the district’s petrol station – the Al-Malti petrol station – but failed to detonate. An army bomb disposal unit arrived on the scene and defused the explosive. The petrol station is not fully-functioning since its storage tanks were removed as a safety precaution when clashes intensified in the city this year.
The third missile, believed to be a mortar, exploded at the end of a residential street. All the projectiles were thought to have been targeting the nearby 204 Tank Brigade and witnesses said they were fired from the Gwarsha district. The assailants are thought to be members of Ansar Al-Sharia.
“They are always trying to hit Tank 204 Brigade but they always miss and the rockets always fall on residential areas,” one local resident said. [/restrict]