Libyan rebel leader's death a mystery

2011-07-29 18:04
Benghazi - The death of General Abdel Fatah Younes, commander of forces fighting to oust Muammar Gaddafi, remained cloaked in mystery on Friday, as rebels pointed the finger of blame at the Libyan leader.

Younes was shot dead by an armed gang after he was summoned from the front by the rebel National Transitional Council "for questioning over military issues," NTC chairperson Mustafa Abdel Jalil said late on Thursday.

His killing, and that of two military officers with him, deals military and political blows to the rebels that could indicate divisions within their ranks, even as they make fresh advances in a pre-Ramadan push to drive Kadhafi out.

"With all sadness, I inform you of the passing of Abdel Fatah Younes, the commander-in-chief of our rebel forces," Abdel Jalil said in a carefully worded statement at a press conference in Benghazi, the rebels' eastern capital.

"The person who carried out the assassination was captured," a somber looking Abdel Jalil said without elaborating. He added there would be three days of mourning in Younes's honour.

Around 200 mourners paid their respects to Younes at a wake early on Friday in the premises of the general's villa in Benghazi, a witnesss said.

The assassination of Younes, Libya's former interior minister and number two in Gaddafi’s regime prior to his defection in February, has fuelled widespread rumours amid unconfirmed reports that the rebels themselves arrested and killed him for treason.

A senior opposition figure in Benghazi on Friday accused Gaddafi of playing a role in the killing.

The early reports from Tripoli that Younes had been killed suggested Gaddafi wanted it in a bid to get rebels to withdraw from the strategic eastern oil town of Brega.

"All these are signs Gaddafi was behind it," the official told AFP, asking not to be named.

He downplayed the risk of any divisions in the ranks of the rebels or score-settling by tribes.

- SAPA
Read more on:    muammar gaddafi  |  libya  |  libya protests  |  north africa  |  uprisings
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Games on Sale!

Save up to 60% on selected games. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is a good day to connect to your inner needs and try to get things back into a more balanced rhythm. There will be emotional...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.