Mahmoud Hamza, the commander of Tripoli’s 44th Brigade, recounted on Thursday the the circumstances of his detention by the Special Deterrence Force which led to deadly clashes in the capital over the past two days.
In a statement via Facebook, which he appear to have deleted later, Hamza said he arrived at the capital’s Mitiga Airport last Monday morning to travel with Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibeh to Misurata. He and the premier were on their way to attend the graduation ceremony of new army officers, Hamza said.
The militant claimed he arrived at the airport “without escorts or weapons”. He said he was waiting in the gates when a group of gunmen affiliated with the Special Deterrence Force stormed inside in a “barbaric, chaotic and immoral manner” to arrest him.
Hamza said he was “handcuffed and blindfolded”, and remained in the airport’s detention until he was released following a wave of violence that left 55 people killed and over 140 injured.
He also accused the Special Deterrence Force as well as the Department for Combating Illegal Migration (DCIM) of initiating attacks against the 444th Brigade forces.
Hamza held the leader of the Special Deterrence Force, Abdul Raouf Kara, responsible for the violence. He also accused the District Attorney Ayoub Amberch of being responsible for issuing an arrest warrant that led to his detention, claiming that Amberch himself is a member of the Special Deterrence Force.
The 444th Brigade militant denied any wrongdoing and claimed that he was held without charges.