By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli and Tunis, 27 October 2015:
Three senior Libya Dawn commanders perished today in a helicopter crash at Maya, . . .[restrict]west of Janzour.
At least 15 of the 19 people aboard the Russian-built Mil-18 were killed when it came down in the sea, a Libya Dawn source told Reuters this evening. Libya National Army spokesman Mohamed Hejazi speaking in Benghazi, later confirmed local claims that the aircraft had been shot down by pro-government forces. A different version of events was that the helicopter suffered a mechanical failure.
Very shortly after the crash, fierce fighting broke out between Libya Dawn Zawia militias and LNA supported Warshefana forces.
It is understood that among the victims are the commander of the Zawia Martyrs’ Brigade, Suhaib Shaba, also known Suhaib Al-Rammah, the GNC’s western region commander Colonel Hussain Budaya and a fellow officer Mohamed Saqr.
Social media have carried a shot of a crash-landed Mil-18 on a road with much of the main fuselage intact. Nevertheless, other pictures purporting to be of the victims show catastrophic injuries that suggest the airframe must have broken up on impact.
The helicopter had reportedly been carrying cash for a bank in Zawia and two bank employees on board are said to be among the dead. It is understood that the militia commanders had been using the helicopter to avoid the land journey along the coastal road which is cut by pr0-LNA forces. [/restrict]