Libyan Officer: Ashmawy offered cooperation to avoid handing him to Egypt

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

LIBYA – Sulaiman Boulahti, commander of a battalion of the Libyan National Army (LNA) in Derna (eastern Libya), has stated that Hisham al-Ashmawy had fears of being transferred to his country and offered cooperation with the party that arrested him to avoid handing him to the Egyptian authorities.

Ashmawy was arrested in October in Derna for terrorism cases and was handed to Egypt on Tuesday by the Libyan National Army (LNA).

Boulahti told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that when he asked him what brought him to Derna his reply was to fight for Palestine, so he replied: “Palestine is not in Derna.”

Boulahti, who lost seven out of his eight children in the battles under the leadership of Commander of LNA Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, told him: “You killed our sons,” however, Ashmawy denied so.

The Libyan officer recalls the first moments of arresting Ashmawy, who is considered a bank of information.

“My nephew Ahmad Hamid Boulahti arrested him. He had an explosive belt in his hand.”

Boulahti said that at the beginning people were saying that there aren’t foreigners in Derna but after tightening the grip at the existing militants, the presence of many others was discovered. He expressed honor for arresting Ashmawy and other 27 terrorists including Libyans and foreigners from Tunisia, Mauritania and other countries.

Further, LNA spokesman Ahmed Mesmar affirmed that Ashmawy confessed his responsibility for training terrorist groups for street fights in Libya. In a press conference on Wednesday, he said that investigations have shown that terrorism in Libya is linked to other countries such as Syria and Iraq.

A retrial will be held in Egypt for Ashmawy to whom an execution sentence was issued in absentia in 2017 for his implication with Ansar Beit al-Maqdis in attacking and killing soldiers at a checking point near the Egyptian-Libyan border.


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