By Adam Ali.
Benghazi, 11 April 2015:
The army is claiming to have killed three leading Islamist commanders along with other fighters as . . .[restrict]it continued the drive into Hawari which it launched on Monday. Nine solders are said to have lost their lives.
There are unconfirmed reports that one of the dead Islamists could be Mohamed Dersi, who was released a year ago from a Jordanian jail in exchange for the freeing of Jordan’s kidnapped ambassador to Libya Fawwaz Al-Eitan. Dersi had been convicted of planning to blow up Amman’s Queen Ali Airport.
Sources give the names of the other two dead Islamist commanders as Abu Muthanna from the IS in Derna and Omran Ben Sufian from Zliten.
An officer with the 204 Battalion told the Libya Herald that in the main fighting today, his force had destroyed six armoured vehicles and large calibre technicals of the Benghazi Revolutionaries’ Shoura Council (BRSC). Fighting alongside the Saiqa 21 Battalion and local militias from Buhdeima, the 204 Battalion had, he said, won control of Markbat Street.
For several hours, a large pall of smoke rose from the Suq Al-Arab where it was reported a missile had hit a shop with inflammable material. The market, in the Sidi Abeid area, has slowly been returning to normal as the fighting moved away from it.
The army denied social media speculation that its troops had actually pressed on into Hawari and taken the works of the Libyan Cement Company. It does appear though, that a BRSC weapons store was hit in the fighting. An army spokesman did say, however, that forces were near the factory and able to attack.
Even though there are believed to be some 3,500 men under army command, progress has continued to be slow. The retreating Islamist are claimed to leave many booby traps behind. They also have some effective snipers. [/restrict]