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Libyan forces foil coup attempt

A Libyan military official announced on Saturday that his country had scuppered an attempted military revolt planned by affiliates of the deposed colonel, Muamar al-Gaddafi. Authorities arrested 17 culprits, the Lebanese daily, Al-Saffir, reported.

The head of the Military Council for the city of Sabha, Ahmed al-Ataybi, said: "A group of affiliates to Al-Gaddafi attempted on Friday to carry out a coup in order to return the country back to the Gaddafi Republic. We arrested 17 of them."


Describing what they had done, Al-Ataybi said: "The group attacked the Police Operation Headquarters in the city. An officer died and two others were injured. The attackers then took over vehicles from the place and an amount of light weapons."

Regarding results of an investigation, the newspaper reported Al-Ataybi as saying: "Initial investigations showed that most of them were members of the former internal and external security services and another number of them were member of brigade 32 led by Khamis al-Gaddafi."

After their attack on the Police Headquarters, Al-Ataybi said, the rebels attacked another military post. A violent exchange of fire then pushed it to ask for help from a third military post called Al-Haq. A large number of official forces from Al-Haq military post were involved in the attack.

According to Al-Ataybi, the combined abilities of the three forces were able to bring the battle under control. The battle ended by the arrest of 17 rebels while an unidentified number fled.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the general chief of staff, Colonel Ali al-Shaikhi, said that one of the brigades under his authority had carried out a wide-range hunt in the south of Libya on Saturday. They regained a number of stolen military vehicles and arrested a number of the wanted.

The colonel said that the arrested individuals were transferred to official prisons in the capital of Tripoli in order to be investigated. According to Chief of Staff Brigadier Yousof al-Magoush speaking to Reuters and AFP, 20 individuals were arrested.

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