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An air assault by Operation Dignity forces on Monday (August 11th) destroyed a weapons-laden boat as it approached the Libyan port of Derna.
The strike followed a warning from General Khalifa Haftar’s operation that incoming vessels were likely carrying weapons and extremists.
“We struck a boat carrying ammunition and people coming from Syria,” Colonel Mohamed Hijazi said.
“Then we shelled a convoy of cars that were loaded with weapons and were heading to Tobruk, forcing some of them to return to their hideouts in Derna,” he added.
Derna eyewitness Ahmed Albardi described the bombardment.
“The aircraft kept flying over Derna. Some individuals were trying to bring it down from one of the houses in the city, which was rented by terrorist Sufian al-Quma,” Albardi said.
“As soon as they saw the aircraft bombing the boat, they began firing at it with anti-aircraft missiles, which landed on nearby houses killing the people inside,” he added.
According to Albardi, “terrorists are still hiding in Derna on the roofs of buildings, in forests and on farms”.
“They walk in the city without fear, because the people are scared of them,” he said.
Lawyer Siraj Ahmed blamed the terrorists for the injury of close to a dozen residents, including at least three children.
“What happened in Derna was the result of not taking the Libyan army’s warnings seriously,” he told Magharebia.
“The command had already warned that if a single bullet was fired at them from any house or building, then it would become a legitimate target,” he said.
Other Derna residents blamed religious extremists and their fatwas legitimising bloodshed.
“We, the Libyans of Derna or any other city, are moderate Muslims. We do not deviate and we do not want extremism or separation,” Abdelaziz Monsif, 32, told Magharebia.
“Sadik Ghariani has been relieved of his duties as Mufti,” he noted. “There is a warrant for his arrest so he can be tried for causing destruction in Libya through his suspicious fatwas,” he said.
He added: “Ghariani, al-Quma, Salah Badi, Hakim Belhadj, Ismail Salabi, Wisam Bin Humaid, and Zahaoui should all be tried, because they are war criminals who caused destruction in Libya under the pretext that they wanted a Muslim state.”
Source : Magharebia