The son of former defence minister Mahdi Albarghathi has been reported dead following his arrest in Benghazi, a family member has confirmed.
The family was informed by Khalifa Haftar’s forces to receive the body of their son, without giving any details about what caused his death, sources close to the family said.
On October 6, Haftar’s forces besieged Albarghathi’s home in Al-Salmani Al-Sharqi of Benghazi after his return to the city, despite promises that he would not be arrested.
There was an exchange of gunfire with Albarghathi’s escorts and a communication blackout during the operation.
According to his wife, Albargathy surrendered himself in exchange for his family members who were held hostages by Haftar’s militias.
Pro-Haftar media said the clashes were part of “a security operation aimed at targeting terrorist cells in Benghazi.”
A press conference was staged in Benghazi on Friday grouping officials of the east-based rival government to push this narrative.
The military prosecutor of Haftar’s forces, Faraj Al-Sousaa, told reporters that Albarghathi was seriously injured in the course of his arrest.
“Albarghathi arrived in the city with an armed convoy of 40 terrorists. Military police surrounded his home and urged him to surrender, but he refused,” Al-Sousaa said.
However, observers are questioning the accuracy of these claims as Albarghathi appeared to be in good health in a video clip that was released by pro-Haftar media during his arrest.