Sunday, September 27, 2015

Benghazi Under Curfew Amid Rebel Clashes
Benghazi, 26 September 2015:

Benghazi is under a city-wide curfew. Throughout the day aircraft, including now helicopter gunships, have been blasting positions at Sabri and Salmani. The rattling sound of cannon being fired and intermittent bomb explosions continued into this evening.

The rebel army is saying that the curfew is to protect citizens from random rocket and mortar fire from IS/Ansar Al-Sharia. It must also be the case that, as the much-touted Operation Doom picks up with the end of Eid, the army wants to be sure it has control of the streets. This is particularly true of Sabri where fighters are surrounded on land and have their backs to the sea.

There were unconfirmed reports that three rebel army soldiers had been killed in Sabri today and 18 injured.

The curfew is being rigidly enforced. One resident of the city’s Al-Wahaishi district said that after visiting relatives in Kish, soldiers would not allow him to return home. He is having  to stay the night with the relatives. Wahaishi, close to Sabri, saw some random shelling today for terrorist positions. One person was injured and taken to Jalaa Hospital.

There has been some confusions as the the start-time of the new curfew.  In Hay Salam it began at 5pm but in Birkah and Shara Jamal, civilian movement was not halted until 7pm.

Benghazi has had other curfews in the past 18 months, generally before another operations that was confidently expected to drive rival terrorists out of the city.

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