The battle between Libyan National Army (LNA) forces and jihadists in the 12 Flats area of Ganfuda, in south-west Benghazi, is ongoing despite the LNA declaring Ganfuda ‘liberated’ earlier this month. On 23 February, 3 LNA soldiers and 3 jihadists died during an intensive door-to-door battle in the 12 flats area. A video of the fighting was published by LNA, in which the Syrian accent of one of the jihadist fighters can be heard.
According to the LNA, 8 bodies were found buried in a makeshift grave in one of the buildings in 12 Flats. A further 36 corpses were uncovered in a multiple burial sites in Ganfuda. Red Crescent workers are helping LNA fighters to exhume and remove the remains.
On 25 February, Colonel Idris al-Jali, commander of the LNA’s 102 Infantry Brigade, was reportedly kidnapped by unknown gunmen who blocked in his vehicle at Ras al-Teen on the road from the LNA airbase at Maturba, approximately 30 km south of Derna. The kidnappers are highly likely to belong to the Derna Mujahedeen Shura Council, who are fighting with the LNA for control of the city.
On 21 February, Tariq Durman (aka Abu Khattab), an influential Salafist sheikh from Zintan, accused the Saudi Salafist cleric who visited LNA fighters in Libya last week of provoking divisions in Libya and demanded his departure from Libya.