Libya Rebels Show Signs of Division

Tensions emerge amid questions over military commander's final hours
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2011 3:34 PM CDT
Benghazi Fighting: Libya Rebels Show Signs of Division
Relatives visit Wael Shaari, a wounded rebel fighter in the Al-Jala hospital in the rebel-held Benghazi, Libya, Sunday, July 31, 2011.   (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev)

Libyan rebels' battle yesterday against fighters they said were undercover Gadhafi loyalists was part of a larger trend of divisions among the rebels, following the death of their military leader, the New York Times reports. The rebels launched yesterday’s attack in an effort to root out armed groups around the city that aren’t directly affiliated with their cause, they said. Rebel leaders are also concerned about tribal hostilities in their ranks, though they have played down such rivalries.

Indeed, no action was taken earlier against the impostors because of their ties to a local tribe, said an official. Meanwhile, stories conflict over whether military leader Abdel Fattah Younes—the onetime minister whom some say retained ties to Gadhafi—was arrested, subpoenaed, or simply questioned just before his assassination. Tensions appear to exist even within the rebel leadership, whose members offer differing versions of Younes’ summons. The rifts within the forces pose a problem for the US and other countries as they weigh transferring frozen Gadhafi funds to rebel leaders. (Read more Libya stories.)

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