Weekly Security Update

Tripolitania and Tripoli 

The Libya Herald wrote on 4 September that one of Misratah’s largest markets was destroyed by arsonists, who then shot at fire-fighters responding to the blaze. The market, one of the primary sources of food for the city, had previously been attacked by a rocket-propelled grenade. According to the report, residents are openly expressing their concern over the city’s deteriorating security situation.

Interior Minister Fawzi Abdul Aal, in an interview with the pan-Arab daily Al Sharq Al Awsat on 7 September, blamed Qadhafi regime ‘fifth columnists’ for recent bombings in Tripoli and Benghazi, claiming that confessions had been obtained following recent arrests.  Abdul Aal added that there are cells inLibya that answer to anti-revolutionary leadership elements based in Egypt,Algeria and Tunisia.

The Libya Herald reported that an armed group which had been manning a fake checkpoint between Azizia and Tripoli from 3 to 5 September, lead to the murder of one to three people and several abductions. The checkpoint was located at the Zahraa Bridge, less than ten km west of Tripoli International Airport. Those responsible are said to be from the Warshafana tribe. The murdered men are said to have been from the Jebel Nafusa region.

On 6 September, Press Solidarity reported that residents of Al Hawamid, 170 km southwest of Zuwara, demanded that the Ministry of Interior secure the Jafara Plain region of northwest Libya.  According to the report, the region has seen an increase in car-jacking and theft.  The Western Libya Gas Project run by Italian oil firm Eni is located near to Al Hawamid.

On 7 September, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, Yousuf Al Manqoush announced a new initiative on Libyan television to collect medium to heavy weapons. According to a video posted on Mizdawi, he claimed that the initiative aims to remove weapons from the streets and called on rebels and citizens alike to hand over weapons. According to the report, two principle collection points will open on 16 September, one in Tripoli’s Martyrs’ Square and one in Benghazi’s Freedom Square.

Tripoli’s National Security Directorate reported that a man was shot in the chest in front of the Qasr Libya Hotel in the capital on 6 September.  Press Solidarity wrote that a brigade belonging to the Ministry of Interior arrested a pro-Qadhafi cell in Tripoli on 8 September. The report claimed that the cell operated in Beni Walid and was in Tripoli to photograph the license plates of cars at the Rixos Hotel. Tripoli’s High Security Committee (HSC), in cooperation with an anti-drug agency, raided an office in Ain Zara on 9 September and seized hashish, a number of pills, according to the HSC’s website.

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