Kasem lives in Benghazi. He’s in close contact with the Libyan Youth Movement.
The NTC knows that an armed militia was hiding out in the warehouse. They had doubts as to their loyalties, but up until now, the men who came in and out of there had said they were rebels. They wore the opposition’s colours and said they were fighting for the security of Benghazi and of its population.
On the day before the raid, NTC security forces went to the warehouse. They gave the men a warning [On July 31, NTC President Moustapha Abdeljalil ordered all militias present in Benghazi to give up their arms and join the rebels]. They asked these men to join Benghazi’s army or fight on the front lines in western Libya. It was their last chance to join the rebellion, but they refused. Sunday morning, shortly after midnight, the rebels launched an attack on the warehouse. People who live nearby told me that the attack was very violent, and that they were told not to leave their homes. I heard that some neighbours helped the security forces arrest the loyalists, who, in attempts to hide, climbed over garden walls.
[Only] three days after General Younes' death, this attack was a victory for the Benghazi rebels. Rumours about the general’s assassination had weakened the NTC. [According to NTC officials, the general was killed by three armed men. But the NTC hasn’t ruled out the possibility that Muammar Gaddafi might be responsible for his death. According to rumours circulating around Benghazi, however, he could also have been killed by anti-Gaddaffi rebels or al-Qaeda Islamists.] Of course, NTC security forces are poorly trained and have little equipment. But this attack proves that the opposition wants to get rid of enemies inside the country at all costs, and rebuild the country in a transparent manner.”
Post written with FRANCE 24 journalist Peggy Bruguière.