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Haftar assassinating militia leaders to erase links to war crimes

TARHUNAH, LIBYA - NOVEMBER 07: [EDITORS NOTE: Image depicts death] Forensic medicine officials conduct excavation works at a mass grave in Tarhunah, Libya on November 07, 2020. A large number of bodies of men and women have been found one after another in excavations since June. ( Mücahit Aydemir - Anadolu Agency )
Forensic medicine officials conduct excavation works at a mass grave in Tarhunah, Libya on November 07, 2020 [Mücahit Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]

A strategic expert has said that renegade General Khalifa Haftar has been assassinating militia leaders in an attempt to obliterate evidence that links him to war crimes committed in the capital, Tripoli, Benghazi and other regions in Libya.

In an exclusive statement to Arabi21, military and security expert Adel Abdel Kafi revealed that "regional intelligence agencies advised Haftar to bring to an end the presence of Al-Kaniyat militia and the group of Khamsin led by Mahmoud Al-Werfalli in the eastern region, in an attempt to close the chapter of these militias' rule and hide any evidence that might lead to him being convicted of war crimes committed by armed groups against the Libyans."

The pro-Haftar leader of Al-Kaniyat militia was killed in his residence in Benghazi during a raid to arrest him yesterday.

READ: US-sanctioned militia leader killed in Libya

The reports pointed out that Muhammad Al-Kani, who was in charge of what is known as the 9th Infantry Brigade in the city of Tarhuna, was killed in a farm where he lived in the city of Benghazi, accompanied by Abdel-Bari Al-Shaqaqi and Walid Al-Bashir, while a man named Ismail Shroud was arrested during the raid.

This came months after the assassination of Al-Werfalli, Haftar's militia leader, last March at the hands of unidentified gunmen in the city of Benghazi.

Abdel Kafi stressed that Haftar was afraid that these militia leaders would confirm in their confessions his involvement in the crimes they committed.

The expert added, however, that wiping out evidence will not protect Haftar and former Parliament Speaker Aguila Saleh from accountability, because the latter handed the leadership of the so-called General Command to Haftar who controls the armed formations and militias that committed the most heinous crimes after receiving orders directly from his operations rooms.

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