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Abdul Fatah Younis Killing: War Death or Assassination?

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Abdul Fatah Younis Killing: War Death or Assassination? - by Stephen Lendman

On July 28, New York Times writer David Kirkpatrick headlined, "Death of Rebel Leader Stirs Fears of Tribal Conflict," saying:

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The killing of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC) military commander, Gen. Abdul Fatah Younis (Gaddafi's former Interior and Defense Minister) and two other rebel officers, "stirred fears that a tribal feud could divide" anti-Gaddafi forces.

On Thursday evening, NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil (former Gaddafi Justice Minister) announced it, saying Younis was recalled from Brega to Benghazi for questioning on the war's progress. He suggested pro-Gaddafi forces killed him, providing no further details, including why his body wasn't recovered.

Nor did he explain why soldiers from Benghazi's elite unit, 17 Brigade, surrounded his house earlier that day. In fact, ahead of his announced death, supporters said they'd use force to free him from NTC custody.

Reports last Sunday night said he died in fighting around Brega. It was retracted, however, when Younis was interviewed Monday, saying he was alive, well, and that rebels would prevail before Ramadan (around August 1). In response, TNC officials claimed someone impersonated him. Apparently, he was under arrest at the time.

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Questions remain how a field commander, usually traveling in a heavily-guarded, multi-vehicle convoy armored car, could be easily gunned down with two of his aides.

Speculation swirled about whether Jalil either ordered him arrested or assassinated. Al Jazeera said he was "suspected of engaging in unauthorized communication with Gaddafi's representatives and had possibly even helped supply regime troops with weapons." 

The latter comment is typical Al Jazeera, a mouthpiece for power, making uncorroborated untrue claims. As a result, its credibility is seriously compromised, a topic previous articles addressed.

Last April, however, Gaddafi's daughter, Aisha, suggested Younis remained loyal to her father, saying a former top regime figure was talking with government officials, with no further details.

London Independent writer Kim Sengupta said Younis supporters claimed "fellow revolutionary fighters" killed him, adding he was "either executed with a shot to the head or died under torture while being interrogated."

Others close to him said he'd been detained on suspicion of collaborating or having unauthorized dealings with Gaddafi ministers in Tripoli, and that members of his family remained close to the regime. 

The same day, roadblocks were set up in Benghazi after Younis loyalists reportedly left the front lines and returned to the opposition capital.

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In fact, his supporters stormed the hall where Jalil announced his death, spraying the room with gunfire. No casualty information was given.

Reports suggested hours before his announced death, Younis supporters knew it. As a result, it raises questions why it wasn't divulged earlier. Instead, Jalil waited until 10PM Thursday, issuing a short statement only without answering questions.

Gaddafi Opponents and Younis Defection

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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