The 21st Century Phenomenon








The military commander of the Libyan rebels fighting to topple Col Muammar Gaddafi has been killed on,  Thursday 07/28/2011 night, the rebel National Transitional Council -NTC said (see – The Libyan-Campaign).


NTC head Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, formers Gaddafi’s justice minister, said Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes was killed by assailants, and the head of the group responsible had been arrested. He said Gen Younes was summoned for questioning about military operations, but never made it to the meeting.


Reports said Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes was suspected of ties to pro-Gaddafi forces.  Younes was not trusted by all the rebels because of his previous role in cracking down on dissidents.


Two aides to Gen Abdel Fattah Younes, Col Muhammad Khamis and Nasir al-Madhkur, were also killed in the attack, Mr Jalil said, adding that none of the bodies had been recovered.


Gen Younes is a former Libyan interior minister who defected to the rebel side in February alongside other Gaddafi’s trustees and aids. He was also part of the group that helped bring Col Gaddafi to power in 1969.


Some unconfirmed reports said Gen Younes and two aides had been arrested earlier on Thursday near Libya’s eastern front.


Shortly after the announcement of Gen Younes’ death, gunmen entered the grounds of the hotel in the eastern city of Benghazi where Mr Jalil was speaking, reportedly firing into the air before being convinced to leave.


Earlier on Thursday, rebels said they had seized the strategically important town of Ghazaya near the Tunisian border, after heavy fighting with Col Gaddafi’s forces. They reportedly took control of several other towns or villages in the area.


The rebels are struggling to break a military deadlock five months into the uprising against Col Gaddafi’s rule. Rebels control most of eastern Libya from their base in Benghazi and the western port city of Misrata, while Col Gaddafi retains much of the west, including the capital, Tripoli (see – LIbyan Civil- War_.


Meanwhile, the South African ambassador to the UN, Baso Sangqu, warned that supporters of the rebels were in danger of violating UN sanctions.


His comments came a day after Britain granted the rebels diplomatic recognition and said it would unblock £91 million ($149m) in frozen Libyan oil assets for the rebels. “We have noted the calls for Gaddafi must go,” Mr Sangqu said. “We maintain that such statements do not bring us any closer to a political solution.”


The growing trend to grant diplomatic recognition to the Libyan rebels is facing opposition on the UN Security Council, and that moves to back the rebels will further polarize Council members.


Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes’s death is a clear indication of a split within the rebels leadership about the continuation of the civil war and the way to end it.  


*  An Islamist militia, known as the Obaida Ibn Jarrah Brigade and linked to the rebels side,  was behind the killing of Libyan rebel commander Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes, who was shot dead on Thursday, Ali Tarhouni, a rebel minister, has said on Saturday 07/30/2011 (see – Hasidi’s Statement).


* Euphoric Libyan rebels have moved, on Sunday 08/21/2011 night, into the centre of the capital, Tripoli, as Muammar Gaddafi’s defenders melted away (see – Gaddafi’s Collapse). 



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