Human Rights

Prisoners of Tazirbu, Libya, welcomed back after liberation from ISIS

North Africa

In a recent operation by the Libyan National Army (LNA), prisoners who were captured by ISIS last month in Tazirbu, south of Libya, were freed from the militant group's control.

A large ceremony was recently held in towns across Libya after the liberation of 22 prisoners abducted by militants. The prisoners, who were freed from their captives in Ghadwa by the Libyan National Army (LNA), were welcomed by both citizens and local officials.

“These prisoners who were well received by our people in the south were liberated [from the militant’s grip]. They were taken to the city of Benghazi, and Ajdabiya where they were celebrated. Today, we welcome them in the al-Wahat District,” said Ahmad Hamad, the head of the Jikharra Municipality.

In November 2018, militant groups attacked the LNA in the town of Ghadwa in southern Libya, killing one officer and injuring 13 soldiers. The attack, which was led by two suicide bombers resulted in the thwarting of the militant groups. However, they were able to abduct 22 people in their retreat.

Last week, the LNA received information about the hideout of the militants and as a result launched an attack to liberate the prisoners.

However, the identity of the kidnappers remains unclear, as some Libyan news sources claim that the militant group was a Chadian militia, which continually attacks the country’s southern towns, while others argue that it was ISIS who kidnapped the prisoners.

While the identity of the kidnappers remains debatable, the released prisoners are nonetheless thankful for the LNA’s efforts to liberate them from the armed group.

“The Libyan Armed Forces with all their battalions and equipment were on schedule,” said Mohammed Khairallah, a freed prisoner. “Praise be to God.”

While the Libyan political scene remains divided between the House of Representatives (HoR) in the east and the Government of National Accord (GNA) in the west, citizens are hopeful that their country will soon see greater levels of stability.

This increase in hope comes after Libyan political leaders met in the Italian city of Palermo to discuss a roadmap for the future of the country.

While the political situation remains unclear at the moment, Libyans are starting to feel the return of normalcy to their country after ISIS and other militant groups were defeated by the armed forces in 2018.