Fourteen soldiers guarding a power plant 30 kilometres outside Sirte were shot dead in the early hours of this morning.
The men were members of Brigade 136 which, operating under the Ministry of Defence, has guarded the Al-Khaleej power plant since the revolution.
A spokesperson for Sirte Local Council told the Libya Herald that the killings had been carried out some time before 4am this morning. The bodies were transferred to Sirte’s Ibn Sina hospital.
He said the motivation for the attack was unclear and no group had yet taken responsibility.
However, some local residents said they believed that the killings were carried out because the brigade refused to join Libya Dawn’s operation to take control of the oil terminals. Many of the 14 victims were also said to be members of the Ferjan tribe – the same tribe as General Khalifa Hafter.
The idea that the brigade’s political leaning could have been a factor in the attack was echoed by a local official who said: “This crime was committed to express vengeance against Hafter and Operation Dignity.”
Other sources said the way the bodies had been found at the power plant suggested it was a pre-planned attack. The bodies were found in different places, indicating that silencers could have been used on the weapons, to avoid.
The local people of Sirte were shocked by the attack, the Local Council Spokesperson said, adding that most shops, local banks and government institutions, including the Local Council, had closed as a mark of respect for the dead men.
The soldiers have been named as: Ali Fraj Karkarah, Bashir Mohammed Mahdi, Atig Al-Nabsha Fraj, Ibraheem Al-Shaouli, Omar Salim Harweel, Hamad Salim Harweel, Imhammed Imraja Ali, Farhat Makhlouf Al-Sadiq, Abdulsalam Makhlouf Al-Baskari, Ali Ihmeed, Ali Belead Rajab, Faraj Al-Nabsha Faraj and Imhammed Ali Mubarak Al-Shuwaidi.
Libya Herald staff.
This article was originally published here.