Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Libya rebels scramble to get Tripoli back on its feet


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Tripoli: Rebels were working on Sunday to get the Libyan capital up and running again as calm prevailed for a second day, despite sporadic gunfire overnight and the gruesome find of piles of charred bodies.

As rebel officials pleaded for funds, the Arab League at a special meeting in Cairo early on Sunday urged the UN Security Council to unlock billions of dollars in Libyan assets and property. Several explosions and machine-gun fire rattled Tripoli overnight, but it was unclear if those responsible were fighters loyal to Muammar Gaddafi or rebels celebrating the takeover of the capital a week ago.

On Saturday insurgents said they had captured the base of the elite 32 Brigade, commanded by Gaddafi’s son Khamis, after a NATO air strike and seven hours of fierce fighting. In an adjoining cinder-block building an AFP correspondent saw the charred remains of some 50 people who residents said were captives killed on Tuesday by rifle fire and grenades.

A former prisoner at the building who had been transferred because it was overcrowded said Gaddafi loyalists had thrown in hand grenades and fled. Rebel chief Mustafa Abdel Jalil, meanwhile, promised the elusive Gaddafi and his senior aides that they would be given a fair trial in Libya if they surrendered. (UNI)

Speaking in the eastern city of Benghazi, where the rebellion began in February, the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC) also called for emergency humanitarian aid for Tripoli, especially medical supplies. (AFP)


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