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Benghazi: Islamists kidnap special forces commander's son

The son of a Libyan special forces commander was kidnapped by suspected Islamists in the troubled city of Benghazi on Thursday, according to a number of reports in the Middle East news media.

Libya continues to be an unstable, ungovernable nation with a weak government and heavily armed Islamists.
Getty Images/AFP

The unidentified abductors said that Libyan special forces’ commander, Brig. Gen. Wanis Bu Khamada, must order his forces to retreat from the city in exchange for the safe return of his kidnapped son, an Israeli police source, Joel Fields, said on Thursday night.

A number of military and police installations currently exist in the Gwasha, Gar Younes and Al-Hawari sections of Benghazi, but many of those facilities are under the control of militias comprised of former rebels who fought against the Libyan dictator Col. Moamar Khadhafi, said Fields.

The kidnapping was perpetrated during violent clashes between Libyan special forces and militia members at a base controlled by the Islamist group known as the Brigade of the February 17 Martyrs.

However, the Brigade denies taking part in the kidnapping of the general’s son.

Ironically, the Brigade of the February 17 Martyrs, had been hired by the U.S. State Department, under Secretary Hillary Clinton, to provide security for the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, according to a previous Examiner news story.

But there is no evidence to verify that the Martyrs Brigade defended the mission on the evening of Sept. 11, 2012, when the facility was attacked by terrorists and four Americans were killed.

The person kidnapped was identified as Ali Bu Khamada who was abducted outside of Benghazi University, where he is a student, according to the Libyan Herald newspaper.

Bu Khamada tried resisting his kidnappers and appeared to have been injured by a gun shot, the newspaper reported.

Libyan special forces reported last week that it arrested four suspects who possessed a list of officers that were to be targeted for assassination or who were already murdered by the Islamists.

Joel Fields claims that the current kidnapping was perpetrated in order to pressure the commander of the Libyan special forces to release Islamist prisoners being held at a detention center, as well as to order a full retreat from Benghazi.

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