Libya Army Traps Militia Blamed for Stevens' Death

But Ansar al-Sharia remains 'very dangerous': commander
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Oct 9, 2012 11:49 AM CDT
Libyan security forces stand guard in Benghazi, Libya, Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012.   (AP Photo/Ibrahim Alaguri)

(Newser) – Libya's army has blockaded the militia blamed for Ambassador Chris Stevens' death, squeezing Ansar al-Sharia into an eastern wooded region. But the fight is far from over, officials say: "They have 150 to 200 men and 17 vehicles, Toyotas, and four-by-fours," notes a commander. "These people are very dangerous." Even with 30,000 soldiers, Moammar Gadhafi couldn't defeat the group, the commander tells the Guardian. "We need help from the United Nations or the Europeans."

The army has established infantry units and anti-aircraft guns along a highway near the 40-mile stretch of untamed forest in the Jebel Akhdar region. But before entering, the soldiers need better equipment, says the commander. "We asked the chief of staff to send us planes and helicopters, but we received nothing." After hearing drones nearby, some have wondered if the US is ready to lend a hand; tomorrow, Congress will hold a hearing reviewing what intelligence the consulate had before the attack.

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