News / Africa

Slain Libyan Rebel Leader's Family Seeks Justice

Motasin Younis, left, and Mohammed Hamed Younis, right, son and nepheiw of Libyan rebels' slain military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis seen during a interview in  rebel-held Benghazi, Libya,  Aug. 1, 2011
Motasin Younis, left, and Mohammed Hamed Younis, right, son and nepheiw of Libyan rebels' slain military chief Abdel-Fattah Younis seen during a interview in rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, Aug. 1, 2011

The son of the Libyan rebel military leader assassinated last week has accused what he calls "traitors" within the opposition of killing his father.

General Abdel Fattah Younis' son tells the Associated Press his family does not have a clear idea who killed his father. But he used the term "individuals among us" and said the murder was carried out in order to exacerbate divisions within the rebel ranks.

Younis' family said Tuesday its powerful tribe may take justice into its own hands if opposition leaders fail to reveal who killed him. They also demanded an open investigation and speedy trial for those responsible.

The opposition general was murdered last week after he was summoned back from the front lines by his superiors, prompting speculation the killing may have been an inside job. No arrests have been made.

In fighting Tuesday, Libyan troops and rebels battled near the western town of Zlitan, where opposition fighters are trying to seize control of the area from forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi.

Rebels and medical officials said a counter-attack by pro-Gadhafi forces killed at least seven rebels and wounded at least 30 others. Anti-government fighters had been seeking to consolidate recent gains around Zlitan.

Also Tuesday, the U.S. representative to Libya's opposition Transitional National Council (TNC) said the world has lined up against Mr. Gadhafi and that his base is "shaking." Chris Stevens said the rebel council is making progress diplomatically, financially and militarily. He also voiced confidence the insurgents are working to prevent human rights abuses.

More than 30 countries, including the U.S., France and Britain, have recognized the opposition council as Libya's interim government. France said it released $259 million in frozen Libyan funds to the TNC for humanitarian needs on Monday.

Stevens also commented on various peace proposals that would allow Mr. Gadhafi to stay in Libya if he steps down as Libyan leader. He said that idea is "highly controversial" among members of the council, which he added is a reflection of Libyan society.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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