World Bulletin / News Desk
One of the Libyan rebels who helped capture Muammar Gaddafi in a drain pipe was buried early on Wednesday after his relatives said he had been shot and tortured in a rival town.
The death of Omran Shaban on Monday again highlighted the struggle of Libya's new leaders to rein in armed groups and could further stoke tensions between The towns of Misrata and Bani Walid, which backed opposing sides in the 2011 conflict.
Shaban shot to fame when he was seen in pictures grabbing Gaddafi on Oct. 20. before the former Libyan leader was killed in his home town of Sirte.
According to his relatives, Shaban was kidnapped by armed men in July close to Bani Walid while on his way back to Misrata after he had been on government business in western Libya to calm clashes there. Bani Walid, a former Gaddafi stronghold, lies some 140 km (90 miles) from Misrata.
"He was kidnapped on his way back by some criminal group," his brother Walid said. "The lower part of his body had gunshot wounds and he was tortured."
Shaban was freed earlier this month after mediation efforts by Mohammed Magarief, leader of the ruling national congress. But he was in critical condition and died in Paris on Monday.
While Misrata spent weeks under siege by Gaddafi's forces during last year's fighting, Bani Walid was one of the last towns to fall to the rebels.
The renewed tensions between Misrata and Bani Walid come at a difficult time for Libyan leaders, trying to impose order on armed groups after the killing of the U.S. ambassador in a fatal assault on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi on Sept. 11.
Hundreds attended funeral prayers for Shaban in a Misrata football stadium.
His brother Hussein complained that the Libyan authorities did nothing to help Shaban.
"Libya was declared liberated of Gaddafi's rule on Oct. 23 last year. It isn't," he said.
The national congress has ordered the defence and interior ministries to find those who abducted Shaban, calling him a "brave hero".
In July, fighters from Misrata threatened to attack Bani Walid after two journalists from their town were detained there. The journalists were eventually released after mediation by the authorities.
'There is both the frightening brutality of Bashar al-Assad's regime... and there is complicity on the part of Russia and Iran,' Laurent Fabius says
'Given the humanitarian disaster happening before the eyes of the world in and around Aleppo and up to the Turkish border, common action is urgently needed to enable humanitarian access,' German foreign ministry says
European lawmakers were set to assess damage in Gaza from 2014 Israeli military operation
Mostly, Muslim countries everywhere are the main losers of the shift in tastes, sector professionals say, as tourists move to destinations they consider 'safe'
British PM wants WikiLeaks founder to 'come out of that embassy and face the arrest warrant that is against him'
A foreign ministry letter addressed to a top BBC executive said a January report on the political crisis in Poland was 'biased', 'inaccurate' and drew 'unjustified conclusions'
'Increasing our NATO deployments sends a strong message to our enemies that we are ready to respond to any threat, and defend our allies,' UK defense secretary says
Matteo Renzi is keen on changing current 'wrong, bureaucratic approach' within the EU
'I expect defense ministers to agree to enhance our forward presence in the eastern part of our alliance... This will send a clear signal,' NATO chief says
'We need urgently to switch gears on relocation,' EU migration commissioner says
'You (Belgrade) have had more than a year to arrest them,' a judge says
'Without a substantial new effort to invigorate governance reforms and fight corruption, it is hard to see how the IMF-supported program can continue and be successful,' Christine Lagarde says
Laurent Fabius is expected to take up a position as head of France's Constitutional Court
During the rescue operation security forces also kill 31 militants in Borno state
Opposition calls for president to be removed from office over misuse of public funds
Several children have been killed in a suicide attack in Cameroon