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Islamist gunmen have stormed a military arms depot and a nearby port in Libya and seized numerous weapons and army vehicles after killing four soldiers, a security official says.
The group also took several hostages, both soldiers and civilians, and is “threatening to execute them unless a siege by security forces is lifted” in Al-Baida, the official told AFP on Sunday, asking not to be named.
“This criminal gang assaulted an army weapons depot and seized 250 weapons, killed four soldiers and wounded 16 others” in the Wednesday operation in Derna, which lies east of Al-Baida and 1300km from Tripoli.
“Army Colonel Adnan al-Nwisri joined them and provided them with a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, three pieces of anti-aircraft artillery and 70 Kalashnikov” assault rifles, the source said.
On Friday, he said they attacked the port in Derna and seized an assortment of 70 military vehicles.
Libyan Islamist leaders are also urging their followers to rebel against the Gaddafi regime.
“They have demonstrated total arrogant impunity and continued, and even intensified, their bloody crimes against humanity. They have thereby demonstrated total infidelity to the guidance of God and His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him),” said the group, called the Network of Free Ulema of Libya.