Sniper’s bullet ends life-long friendship in Libya

Reuters ZAWIYAH, Libya Aug 16 (Reuters) – Life-long friends Abdul Ghani and Majdi often played soccer and billiards together as youngsters, went to the same law school and then joined the rebel movement fighting to topple Muammar Gaddafi.

A sniper’s bullet shattered their dream of opening up a law practice together in a new democratic Libya where they intended to focus on human rights cases.

Minutes after doctors began putting a cloth over Abdul Ghani’s corpse in a hospital on the edge of the strategic town of Zawiyah, Majdi was slowly led into the room.

He recognised his lifeless best friend, who had a bullet lodged in his head, then broke down and wept in the arms of an older rebel.

“We spent nearly every day together since we were eight. He was like a brother,” Majdi told Reuters later, sitting on the fender of a car outside the hospital.

“We wanted to do so much. We wanted to enjoy freedom in a new Libya and work as proper lawyers who could actually help people.”

Abdul Ghani was killed during the biggest military breakthrough for Libya’s rebels in months.

At the weekend, fighters attacked Zawiyah, just 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, Muammar Gaddafi’s stronghold. They say they control 80 percent of it but are still vulnerable to pro-Gaddafi snipers concealed in high buildings.

The last time Majdi saw Abdul Ghani, they were walking towards an enemy-held part of Zawiyah when a mortar round landed nearby.

“The explosion startled us. I wanted to retreat but Abdul Ghani said ‘let’s go after them’ and he kept going,” said Majdi.


Outside the hospital, other rebels walked by, tapped Majdi on the shoulder and told him to rejoice, not cry, because Abdul Ghani had become a martyr for a noble cause blessed by Allah.

But the tears kept flowing. “I liked his sense of humour the most. He was such a funny person,” said Majdi. “He was also kind. And he read a lot about law. I admired that.”

Joining the revolt against Gaddafi was not an easy decision and the 24-year-old friends were aware of the risks. Pro-Gaddafi forces were still firing rockets at Zawiyah — where Majdi will soon return to battle — as he spoke.

But they felt taking up arms was the only way forward, said Majdi.

“Gaddafi’s oppression was too much. Libya is a country with no freedom. No freedom of expression. Just no freedom. Look at that school. Do you think students were taught about human rights there? No,” said Majdi, pointing to a building beside the hospital.

“Working as lawyers in the Libya run by Gaddafi would be useless. We would have no power. So we became rebels.”

Gaddafi’s government says the rebels are armed gangs inspired by al Qaeda. Majdi looks like a typical liberal-minded young man, with his blue jeans and sleeveless collar shirt.

Knocked back by the loss of his friend, he seemed to have lost the brash zeal of some other rebels. Instead, he was turning to his Islamic faith for strength.

“I hope that God will let us take the rest of Zawiyah and get rid of Gaddafi,” he said. “Please God.”

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9 Responses to Sniper’s bullet ends life-long friendship in Libya

  1. Richard From France says:

    This is the true grin face of war.

    What is the fastest way out?

    I ask the question to all the hypocrites who send back to back the Libyan freedom fighters and the tyrants, as if they were equally responsible of what happens.
    I ask this question to all the wicked ideologists who repeat propaganda lies about NATO aiming at children.
    I ask this question to the non-democratic governments who maimed the 1973 resolution, for the sole purpose of protecting their kin Kadhafi.
    Those people may claim to be “pacifists” and “democrats” and give us lessons. But, by slowing the only solution, they take the responsibility of Abdul’s death. If they helped the Libyans instead, war would be finished now, at a much lesser cost. And no more lives would be cut off.

    This war started 42 years ago, and it will stop only when the psychopath and his thugs are gone. Time for negotiation was before, but in that time nobody cared of some Arabs in the desert, provided that the oil was flowing.

    Please Majdi, and all the others, do not stop fighting. It would make Abdul’s death useless. The world is looking at you, and we cry with you.

    When freedom and democracy win in Libya, it will profit to the Libyans.
    But it will also profit to the world, as a morale boosting, as a model for other tyrannized people.
    I may add, it will also be a model for “some” people who have democracy, but are ready to renounce to it just for looking at “reality shows” at the TV…

    • Richard From France says:

      oops sorry bad tag… I was just wanting “If they helped the Libyans instead, war would be finished now,” in bold, not the continuation

    • That’s pretty good Richard……(some white man always stealing my hustle)………..but its pretty damned good….

      17:26 AFP The NTC are planning a 2 year path to democracy which includes an assembly election, a constitutional referendum and a general election…………..Gaddaffi surrounded himself with people so dumb, now that they’re on our side, it gives me a migraine…….lets try 2 days to Ras Lanouf…Do the misirata/zlitan contingent have ample gas supplies, because if they do…….they need to look foward to gettin busy………And what’s up with tiji………If it hasn’t been taken yet…….they might be trying to sit it out………Which would mean leaving just enough to watch their as-ses and cal in Nato if they try to move……….

    The western press continues to write jaded accounts.Even Al Jezeera, coming out of Qatar, is subject to western puppeteering. Stand your ground, take your time……..It’s not a race. Don’t let yourself be baited…..Your patience in pursuing the battle will undo them..And beware the Gaddaffi tactic that would send his own across the line to disrupt your efforts.They have lived amopngst each other for the past 5 mos. They know who’s who.Keep them together so that they can hold each other accountable.And keep the mountain rebels moving in units that are contained………..Gaddaffi would send people across the line to do a military assessment, and they may even be on the phone as I type……

  3. If zawiya has a port, you’re going to need it………………….

  4. Fredy says:

    Go forward rebels push the bastards out of Zawiya.

  5. Pedro Alfonso says:

    To counter snipers; SIT, WATCH, WAIT, and MOVE UNDER COVER OF NIGHT when ever possible!!!

    If you can not move freely find a different route to Tripoli there are many! Concentrate on Al-Aziziyah and other towns close to Tripoli! Some times burning rubber car tires will give you enough smoke cover in between buildings to hide from snipers sight of view, if you do not have armored vehicles for protection!

    Remember if you can not move so probably neither will the snipers. Identify their locations carefully and encircle them. If Gaddafi’s men are hold up inside the hospital or other areas convinced them to surrender. They also want to live, human shields will not give them assurance of life!

    You need not to take all of Zawiyah, the harm to Gaddafi has been done, his troops can no longer move up and down the costal road to Tunisia! Surround his troops and give them the opportunity to surrender! Remember many are afraid to get killed by other soldiers if they try to surrender. Remember once they are captured they are no longer you enemies but your future reconciled brothers!

    Send reconnaissance teams to harass and scout other areas while snipers get surrounded and nullified!

    The international airport can be closed down, start thinking how you can do so. There are many ways without tying up too many Freedom Fighters for this purpose. There are ways to make the airstrip inoperative temporarily without much destruction to it. If those in Gaddafi’s close circle do not want to flee now…then let them die in Tripoli later! Let them know soon the airport will be temporarily closed! If Gaddafi moves his troops there to secure it, it can still be done. And if he does this will take off pressure from other areas!

    It is doubtful Gaddafi is in Tripoli, if he is he surely by now has been found by intelligence, but he is no longer the main or only problem. Now is when truly his inner circle will be making their own decisions whether to fight or flee. So it is no longer about the wishes of the disguised international support, nor of the wishes of a madman. Now it has become the confrontation with those who also know they will be prosecuted once the Revolution is triumphant! It is important to identify those who have committed inhumanity and nullify them for they will keep others who have not committed crimes against humanity from defecting.

    The free movement of Gaddafi troops within Tripoli will stop soon! Freedom Fighters do not have to move, just SIT, WATCH, and WAIT inside the posts you have chosen to defend within Tripoli, until the “fruit“ has ripened for the harvest. The rest will be history!

    Freedom Fighters, “fly like a lightening bolt” when is time to run, and with alertness, patiently in prayer and meditation when it is time to wait. For after all…….it is Ramadan!!!!!!!

  6. Fredy says:

    Good post Pedro Alfonso. Good post. Your intentions and thoughts are working for the rebels. We hope someone over there is reading our posts.

    Mia,Mia !

    Means 100% in arab. When the rebels are asked how they’re doing they go Mia,Mia and they smile. It means perfect.

  7. libyanoo says:

    ohhhhhh ya Go forward rebels that’s great

    Fredy when Gaddaffi step down libya it will be 100% mia al mia lol 😀

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