On March 24, the Libyan National Army (LNA) infamous al-Saiqa officer Mahmoud al-Werfalli, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, was assassinated in the city of Benghazi.
According to Libyan sources, unidentified gunmen targeted at al-Werfalli’s car as it was passing near the Arab Medical University in southern Benghazi.
Miloud Zoe, spokesman for the LNA’s elite al-Saiqa unit, said that al-Werfalli died on the spot. However, his brother, who was at the time with him, survived the attack with serious wounds. He is currently in a critical condition.
In 2017, al-Werfalli gained international notoriety by appearing in videos posted by al-Saiqa’s social media accounts that depicted him executing or ordering the execution of ISIS captives. In total seven videos were published. One video in particular depicted the execution of 20 men.
On the same year, al-Werfalli was indicted by the International Criminal Court with the war crime of murder. The arrest warrant against him alleges that he “appears to be directly responsible for the killing of, in total, 33 persons in Benghazi or surrounding areas, between on or before 3 June 2016 and on or around 17 July 2017, either by personally killing them or by ordering their execution.”
The arrest warrant notes that in seven incidents, which were videoed and posted on al-Saiqa’s social media accounts, al-Werfalli either appeared to order the execution, or conducted the execution himself. The Court notes in the arrest warrant that “the executions were exceptionally cruel, dehumanizing and degrading.”
In 2018, al-Werfalli was again accused of executing ten prisoners in Benghazi. Right after that, an Interpol red notice against him, on behalf of International Criminal Court, was issued.
A year later, the US Treasury Department included al-Werfalli on its sanctions list, accusing him of committing serious human rights violations.
The LNA claimed that al-Werfalli was under arrest. However, this was not apparently the case. The man’s achievements in the war on ISIS in Libya, where many consider him a war hero, have granted him unofficial immunity.
No group has claimed responsibility for the assassination of al-Werfalli so far. ISIS, whose fighters were executed by the man, remains the main suspect.
- Pack Your Bags: Turkey Ordered Syrian Mercenaries In Libya To Prepare For Pull Out
- Turkish-Backed Militants Commemorate ‘Syrian Revolution’ From Libya (Video)