The Libya Herald wrote on 4 November that at least eleven people were killed and injured during clashes in central Tripoli’s Sidi Khalifa district. Fighting broke out between government forces attempting to arrest a renegade High Security Committee (HSC) commander, Mohammed Al Warfali, who was suspected of planning an attack in Tripoli and to have smuggled weapons into Bani Walid. The Libya Herald wrote that forces from the Ministry of Interior’s HSC had confronted Al Warfalli’s forces. However other media outlets wrote that the National Mobile Forces, which operates under the Chief of Staff and was specificaly created to disband rogue militias, was responsible for the intervention. Al Warfalli and eleven of his men were reported to have been arrested.
Gulf of Sidra, Cyrenaica and Benghazi
The Libyan daily Qurnina Al Jadida reported the assassination of Abdullah Zin Al Fasi, a religious figure from the Abu Ayub Al Ansari mosque in Benghazi’s Quraysh neighbourhood on 2 November. Al Fasi who was 70, was killed outside of his home on his way to the mosque by a group of unknown gunmen. The daily noted that this was the first assassination of a religious figure in Benghazi.
Libya’s official news agency, WAL wrote on 2 November that local council leaders from the Green Mountain region expressed their support for the National Assembly. WAL also reported a counter-demonstration took place in Bayda against the protest that targeted the National Assembly in Tripoli on 1 November. Derna-based rebels, civil society organizations, and members of the Supreme Rebel Council of Libya from the Green Mountain region, Tobruk, Derna, Al Qiba, Shahaat, Sahil, Al Marj, Al Kufra, and Ajdabiya were reported to have participated.
The Libya Herald reported that more than 1,000 demonstrators massed outside the Tibesti hotel in Benghazi following Friday prayers on 3 November, calling for greater economic autonomy in the Cyrenaica region. The protests, which came days after Prime Minister Ali Zeidan succeeded in getting his government through congress, renewed calls for key financial institutions to be based in Benghazi, including the central bank, the National Oil Company (NOC) and the ministries of oil and finance. Resentment towards Tripoli has been gaining momentum in recent weeks, following a bungled plan to give the NOC’s Benghazi branch effective control over oil production in eastern Libya, which accounts for almost 80 per cent of total production.