EXCLUSIVE: Mohamed al-Kani Dies During an LNA Operation to Arrest Him – Al Marsad

Mohamed al-Kani, the leader of Al-Kaniyat militia was killed in an assault on his residence in Bou Attni district in Benghazi, during an operation by the Libyan National Army (LNA)  to arrest him. 

(LIBYA, 27 July 2021) – An LNA military source told AlMarsad that a detachment of the LNA raided Mohamed al-Kani’s residence, in order detain him and interrogate him after complaints and lawsuits filed against him for violations attributed against him during the past years. Al-Kani had just returned to Libya from a medical trip abroad.

Al-Kaniyat militia, known as as the 7th Brigade, was a part of the forces affiliated with the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) up to 2019. After the offensive of the LNA on Tripoli, they joined the LNA forces and became known as the 9th Brigade.


The military source denied that Mohamed al-Kani’s death was due to assassination, but rather that he died during a raid by the LNA who were under order to arrest him.  Al-Kani along with those with him, resisted arrest by firing at the armed forces, before he was shot by a bullet that killed him and his bodyguard. A third person was also involved and was arrested.

The source added: “His arrest came on the orders of the Military Prosecutor, in addition to arrest warrants and investigation issued by the Public Prosecutor, regarding crimes that the concerned person was accused of committing during multiple periods after 2011, including the need to know the fate of citizens who are still missing. The Public Prosecution and their families demand to know their fate.”


The source continued: “The investigations indicated that the person concerned was accused of a number of violations during the 2019 war in Tripoli, taking advantage of the LNA; but the heaviest violations were during the period of his [al-Kani’s] alliance with Fathi Bashagha and Salah Badi in the 2018 war, and before that with the National Congress and the Salvation Government, and after that when his group joined the Presidential Guard formed by Fayez Al-Sarraj. There was also his involvement in a massacre against fighters who withdrew from Warshefana in 2017 and were affiliated with the Popular Front, and they were shot dead, and their number exceeded 30 people.”

The same source revealed that “during the past days and hours, a number of people accused of crimes were arrested in Tarhuna, and who had harmed the reputation of the armed forces and violated its principles and goals.” The LNA military source stressed to AlMarsad that there was no room for covering up anyone’s crimes, under any slogan, as the country moves towards stability. The source reassured displaced families, who are hosted in the eastern region, that they would be no harm to them as a whole, if one of them was proven to be involved in an accusation.


The same sources indicated that they would not allow anyone involved in Tarhuna’s violations and other cover-ups to escape, and called on the security and military authorities in the western region to pursue and prosecute anyone involved in sending bulldozers, and Libyan and foreign fighters to Benghazi during the years of the war on terrorism.

The same sources also stressed the LNA’s refusal to cover up these violations, and said there was a blatant attempt by the media, and certain political currents personalities who are trying to to deny their association with the 7th Brigade and the violations attributed to it in Tarhuna for over 8 years, compared to the one year it was associated with the LNA.