Clashes between smugglers and security forces at Bani Walid

May 14, 2022 | Libyan actors

On 14 May, clashes broke out between suspected smugglers and a counter-terrorism force affiliated with the 444 Brigade in District 51, near Bani Walid. Medium calibre weapons were reportedly used, and members of a smuggling and trafficking gang were reportedly arrested including, Ashraf al-Khazm. Ashraf al-Khazm is a relative of a senior ISIS operative, Embark al-Khazm, who was arrested by the Misratan Joint Operations Force in September 2021. Embark Khazm was accused of smuggling ISIS-affiliated terrorists between Libyan cities as well as being responsible for the bombing of the coast guard camp in Zliten in 2016. Ashraf al-Khazm was reportedly arrested in relation to his trafficking activities rather than possible terrorist affiliation.