Libyan commander wanted for war crimes by ICC shot dead

Posted by News Express | 25 March 2021 | 574 times

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Top military figure loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar killed in the eastern city of Benghazi by unidentified attackers.

Mahmoud al-Werfalli, a senior Libyan military figure loyal to renegade military commander Khalifa Haftar and wanted for alleged war crimes, has been shot dead by unidentified attackers in the eastern city of Benghazi, according to medics.

The gunmen on Wednesday opened fire on a vehicle carrying al-Werfalli, seriously wounding him and his cousin, Ayman, a source who requested anonymity told the AFP news agency. The pair were pronounced dead on arrival at Benghazi Medical Centre, located near the scene of the shooting, another security source said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Born in 1978, al-Werfalli was a commander in an elite unit attached to Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA), a coalition of forces that has dominated eastern Libya in recent years.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has indicted al-Werfalli twice for the suspected killing of more than 40 captives, including in a 2018 incident in which photographs appeared to show him shooting 10 blindfolded prisoners.

“Simply, he was a relentless and merciless killer,” Anas El Gomati, founder of director of Sadeq Institute, told Al Jazeera.

“The testimony of not only those that have been documented the ICC, but the hundreds of families as documented by Human Rights Watch [HRW] and Amnesty International, and thousands more who live in Benghazi have lived in fear of al-Werfalli.”

In 2018, HRW said it had interviewed displaced people who said LNA-linked groups had seized their property and tortured, forcibly disappeared and arrested family members who remained in the city.

This month, al-Werfalli was shown in a widely circulated video raiding a car showroom in Benghazi alongside his uniformed men, smashing up furniture and computers as they brandished weapons.

“Benghazi is fast becoming the murder capital of North Africa … and many point the finger at al-Werfalli,” El Gomati said, adding that the commander had been promoted by Haftar. (Aljazeera)

Source: News Express

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