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All Tripoli prisoners freed – Libyan rebels | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat – Saleh al-Warfali, a member of the Libyan rebel movement in Tripoli, has informed Asharq Al-Awsat that pro-Gaddafi battalions have disappeared from most areas of the Libyan capital, with the exception of Gaddafi’s Bab al-Aziziyah military compound.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat in a telephone interview from Tripoli on Monday, al-Warfali stressed that no looting or rioting had occurred in any of the rebel-controlled areas of the Libyan capital. He also revealed that the Libyan rebels had captured a number of pro-Gaddafi African mercenaries.

The following is the full text of the interview:

[Asharq Al-Awsat] What is the current situation on the ground in Tripoli?

[Al-Warfali] We [the Libyan rebels] are in complete control of the situation; there are no Gaddafi forces on the ground. We are in control of Al-Sareem Street, which is close to Tajura, Fashloum, and Souk al-Juma. All of these areas are under our country. There are [also] no prisoners in any Tripoli prison, for all prisoners have been freed. We have also forcibly acquired arms and weapons from Gaddafi battalions.

As for the general situation on the ground, there are rebel checkpoints on the roads, and we are making sure that all military vehicles that are moving in the streets belong to the Libyan rebels, so as to ensure that there are no surprise attacks [on rebel troops]. We also captured some mercenaries; investigations are under way to find out where they come from, and how they got here.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] How many mercenaries did the rebels capture? Where are they from?

[Al-Warfali] We captured 4 mercenaries…they speak English. We are protecting them, and God willing, the youth will investigate them. They are dark-skinned, and they [also] had a Syrian with them…but we have not finished our investigations [into this issue].

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Where are the Gaddafi forces and the pro-Gaddafi battalions?

[Al-Warfali] The Gaddafi troops have no presence in this area. We are [currently] monitoring a group of pro-Gaddafi troops outside Tajoura; we are coordinating our forces to attack them within two hours.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Do you have any information as to Colonel Gaddafi’s location?

[Al-Warfali] We have received unconfirmed reports that he suffered a heart attack and that he is trying to get to Tajoura hospital.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] You are a Tripoli citizen; can you confirm that this uprising [in Tripoli] was conducted from within?

[Al-Warfali] That’s right.

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Are you coordinating with the Libyan rebels outside of Tripoli?

[Al-Warfali] There is significant coordination…there are, of course, communication [between the Tripoli rebels and the Libyan rebels outside of Tripoli]. Attempts were made to coordinate our attacks between 2 and 3 am [on Monday] when they [the Libyan rebels outside of Tripoli] entered the capital. We [the Tripoli rebels] are affiliated to the [Tripoli] National Military Council. We also managed to capture a number of [military] vehicles and arms belonging to Hannibal and Muttasim Gaddafi [brigades].

[Asharq Al-Awsat] Can you tell us if any public building, company, or bank, was attacked in the areas of Tripoli under rebel control?

[Al-Warfali] That is the strange thing; nobody [in Tripoli] has attacked anything. If any Tripoli citizen finds a weapons cache, then they hand it over to a member of the military council, and say I have found this…so there have been no attacks on anything.