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Ghadames raid

 

Ghadames raid

Ghadames raid
Part of Libyan Civil War
Date 24–26 September 2011
Location Ghadames, Libya
Result Indecisive
  • Pro-Gaddafi forces filter across border from Algeria and attack NTC positions in the city
  • Anti-Gaddafi forces drive off attackers
Belligerents
Anti-Gaddafi forces Gaddafi Loyalists
Strength
400 fighters[1] 100 fighters[1]
Casualties and losses
9–11 killed[5]
75 wounded[2][4]
Unknown

The Ghadames raid was a series of hit-and-run attacks carried out between 24 and 26 September 2011 by groups of pro-Gaddafi forces, allegedly including elements of the Khamis Brigade,[2][6] against the National Transitional Council-administered desert oasis town of Ghadames, Libya, during the Libyan Civil War.

Background

Ghadames, an oasis town with a population of around 10,000,[7] lies surrounded by desert in a corner of western Libya, bordering both Algeria and Tunisia. The city is home to one of five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Libya,[8] which UNESCO officials feared would be endangered by fighting.[9] Throughout much of the conflict, Ghadames remained isolated and cut off from communications. As such, news from the town was scant and control of the town was not easy to discern. Some reports said that Ghadames remained "under siege" by loyalists for months;[10] however, when anti-Gaddafi forces retook the town in late August, these reports were shown to be outdated.[11] After the war, National Geographic reported that rebels had indeed staged an uprising in the town, but that a loyalist Tuareg militia suppressed it at some point.[12]

Raid

After apparently filtering across the Libya-Algeria border in cars for several days, loyalist forces launched an attack on NTC forces in the city of Ghadames on 24 September.[2] The raid began at around 5:30 AM as group of around 100 loyalists, allegedly including mercenaries from Algeria and groups of Tuareg,[1] entered the city and began attacking NTC positions. Local pro-Gaddafi sleeper cells were also reported by local officials to have joined in on the raid.[1] Anti-Gaddafi forces lost 6-8 fighters and suffered more than 60 wounded before driving loyalists back into the desert.[2] Sporadic shelling of the town by loyalists continued after the raid, and anti-Gaddafi forces continued to engage in clashes with loyalists as they pursued them out of the town.[1]

By the next day, the town was once again clear, but NTC forces had increased security, setting up new checkpoints and posting snipers at key locations. Colonel Ahmed Bani, an NTC spokesman, said that he expected that loyalists would continue to try to use the vast desert area outside of Ghadames as a base of operations, but that anti-Gaddafi forces had secured the area and would not allow another attack.[2] During the night, another series of clashes erupted which continued into the morning of 26 September, leaving another three rebels dead and a dozen wounded.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Kadhafi forces kill five in oasis attack: witnesses". Times of Oman.  
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Gadhafi loyalists launch attack across Algeria border".  
  3. ^ "Libya's NTC troops renew assault on pro-Gaddafi Sirte".  
  4. ^ a b c Terry, Jonathan (26 September 2011). "Fighting continues on Algeria-Libya border". Bikyamasr. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  5. ^ 6-8 killed on 24 September,[2][3] 3 killed on 26 September,[4] total of 9-11 reported killed.
  6. ^ "Libyan NTC says repulsed pro-Gaddafi attack in south". Reuters Africa.  
  7. ^ "Libya (Overview)".  
  8. ^ "Libya". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 25 September 2011. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "UNESCO plans mission in Libya". Russia Today. 10 October 2011. 
  10. ^ Warren, Alex (24 August 2011). "Libya: what about the south?".  
  11. ^ "Wed, 31 Aug 2011, 17:24 GMT+3 - Libya".  
  12. ^ Draper, Robert (February 2013). "New Old Libya". National Geographic. p. 46. 

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