Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 19 April 2016:
Tripoli Castle overlooking Martyrs’ Square has been taken over by militia commander Hashim Bishr who has declared . . .[restrict]his support for the Presidency Council headed by prime minister-elect Faiez Serraj.
Bishr’s force, named the First Division, is reported to be part of the Katiba Thuwar Trebles Tripoli Revolutionaries’ Brigade). His return to Libya, which he left in 2014, is something of a surprise. Formerly the powerful head of the Supreme Security Committee, Bishr denounced the 2013 seizure of then prime minister Ali Zeidan and was openly critical of Libya Dawn.
Three months after the March 2014 kidnap and murder of his brother Hisham, a teacher in Tajoura, the family home in the district was hit in a double car bombing. The once-powerful Bishr moved abroad, and it is believed lived mostly to Italy.
It is not know how many men Bishr has in his First Division unit which is operating around Zawiya Al Dahmani, Ras Hassan and Omar Mukhtar Street. It is reported that he has announced that Martyrs’ Square is open to anyone who wants to protest about anything or anyone, including himself, providing the protest is peaceful.
Until now, it is not thought that the castle has been occupied by any militia. The curators of the museum, with its outstanding Graeco-Roman artefacts, refused to reopen it after the revolution for fear that its finest exhibits would be plundered and vandalised. [/restrict]