Gossip Rich On Libyan Rebel Leader’s Death


TRIPOLI, Libya, July 30 (UPI) — Speculation and accusations were flying in Libya Saturday as a slain leader of the civil war rebels was buried in Benghazi.

The country’s former interior minister who defected to the rebel movement in February, Abdel Fattah Younis, was killed Thursday, although who was responsible wasn’t clear.

Local and international media reported various theories, most of which leaned to his shooting death as a rebellion among his own militia or an ordered assassination by Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi.

Three bodies were found on the outskirts of Benghazi Friday — those of Younis and two of his militant aides, all of whom had been shot multiple times and set afire, the BBC said.

Libyan Oil Minister Ali Tarhouni told reporters Younis had been killed by his own followers who were unhappy with his leadership of the rebellion.

However, the rebels’ Radio Misurata claimed Younis was killed by government forces during an interrogation in a Benghazi hotel room, The Guardian reported.

In the midst of the distraction from the civil war, NATO reported Saturday its aircraft had bombed three state TV transmitter sites, although the broadcaster was still operating, the BBC said.

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