Despite claims of Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army that Benghazi is safe and secure, his spokesperson, Ahmed Al-Mismari, gave a contradictory story and admitted that the war-torn city is under threat of night raids by armed gangs.
During his weekly press conference on Wednesday, November 08, Al-Mismari told Benghazi residents to resist the gangsters and not to comply with their arrest orders, in complete absence of police forces and so-called army units.
Sahawat fighters and radical Madkhali Salafist groups are wreaking havoc in Benghazi with night raids on civilians’ houses to arrest alleged “terrorism” suspects.
“People should not comply with arrest orders from masked men; it’s illegal; arrest orders must be issued by the Military Police and the Military Intelligence and carried out by unmasked men in broad daylight and not at night”. He remarked.
He indicated that “the General Command” has now allowed people to use force to defend themselves from the gangs, which try to arrest them without legal orders.
According to local residents, armed robbery and night raids have hit a dangerous level.
Al-Mismari’s remarks were met with anger and a wave of mockery comments from Dignity Operation supporters. Several social media activists questioned so-called army’s ability to arrest those gangsters who arrest civilians in the name of “the army”.
Pro-Dignity Operation activist Hanan Elmgawab criticized Al-Mismari’s remarks and demanded “the army” to arrest those groups instead of telling people to defend themselves.
“Arrest them or tell us frankly that you are unable to arrest those groups dressed in military uniforms!” She asks.
Media activist Mohamed Abdul-Wanis, a.k.a Bu Shagma, mocked the remarks in his Facebook page by telling his followers to take their guns.
Blogger Mohamed Al-Jali wondered if “the army” and police departments in the city are able to arrest those gangster, otherwise he would form his own militia to protect himself.