UNSMIL personnel freed after hours of detention by gunmen in western Libya

UNSMIL personnel freed after hours of detention by gunmen in western Libya

June 28, 2017 - 21:47
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Written By: AbdulkaderAssad

A convoy of the UNSMIL that included four men and two women were released after being detained by an armed group for hours on Wednesday evening, security sources from Al-Zawiya city reported.

"The armed group was persuaded into letting the UN staffers go without any harm and any further escalation; and they are fine and will be flown back to Tripoli," the sources added.

According to the sources, elders, municipal members and notables from Al-Zawiya city convinced the gunmen to set free the UNSMIL personnel without satisfying any demands for them.

The UNSMIL convoy was detained by gunmen in Al-Zawiya while it was en route to Tripoli, according to local media outlet.

"The car that attacked the UNSMIL convoy by small arms was for someone called Ali Al-Kardmin, who is a Dignity Operation-linked fighter." Local media cited security sources from Al-Zawiya as saying.

According to the same sources, the attack on the UNSMIL convoy came as a retaliation for the arrest of some men from the attacking armed group by Tripoli-based Special Deterrence Force. The armed group wanted to trade the UNSMIL staffers with its arrested fighters, the sources explained.

Al-Zawiya city has been witnessing lately massive security violations and repeated clashes between armed groups in the city - some linked to Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room and others linked to east-based Dignity Operation, which in Ramadan led to the killing of Ibrahim Hunish, a prominent leader of one of those armed groups.