The top commander of Libya's rebel insurgents has been killed, but Abdel Fattah Younes’ (pictured) death remains shrouded in mystery and has raised suspicions about infighting among insurgents.
The circumstances of General Younis’ death remain shrouded in mystery. The site where he was killed was not disclosed to journalists.
According to the London-based Libyan activist Shamis Ashour, Youni’s death was clearly an assassination operation organised by Gaddafi supporters. “There certainly was treason, a sleeping cell among rebels,” Ashour told Reuters.
“The alternative…is summary execution by rebels, an internal act of decapitation by the rebels themselves,” said Shashank Joshi, an analyst with London’s Royal United Services Institute, an independent defence think tank.
"All these things would humiliate governments that have supported the rebels. Particularly Britain, which came late to the fray, partly for reasons like this," said Joshi in an interview with Reuters.
The killing coincided with the start of a rebel offensive in the west. Around 100 insurgents seized the western town of Ghezaia, a rebel commander told Reuters on Friday. Rebels claimed other victories the previous day, but have been locked in a virtual stalemate with forces loyal to Colobel Muammar Gaddafi for weeks.
Once a close ally of Gaddafi, Younes switched sides after the rebellion began in Libya in February. While Tripoli considered the general a traitor, and put a $2.5 million ransom on his head, some among the rebel camp remained suspicious of him.
Date created : 2011-07-28