16 April 2014, Wednesday
Today's Zaman

Female sniper's confession reveals mass murder in Libya

28 August 2011, Sunday /KÜRŞAT BAYHAN
Captured by opposition forces, 19-year-old Nasrin Mansur Alfarjari, a female sniper in Gaddafi's Special Forces, confessed to targeting innocent people at military training sessions during the Gaddafi era. The Libyan female sniper was captured by rebels as she was running away from fighting in Tripoli's Abu Salim district.

Speaking to Today's Zaman yesterday from the hospital in which she is receiving treatment, Alfarjari uncovered the evil face of Gaddafi by confessing to mass killings as part of military training. She said hundreds of 19 to 20-year-old women soldiers like her fought with the Special Forces. They had to shoot living people as target practice, she said. “The instructors threatened to shoot me if I didn't kill some people.” Facing the threat of being killed herself, Alfarjari said, she complied and fired.

Accused of killing 16 people, Alfarjari said she regrets what she did, crying. She has been receiving medical care in a special section of Tripoli's military hospital. Guarded by an opposition soldier at the door, she hasn't been allowed to communicate with the outside world. Alfarjari's guard told Today's Zaman that she will be placed on trial for the murders after she has recuperated. He says it is necessary to keep her under guard to prevent any assassination attempts designed to keep her from telling what she knows.

Alfarjari said there were women officials whose job was to recruit female warriors for Gaddafi's army. One of them communicated with Alfarjari's mother, asking if she could be taken for training. There, women instructors gave the young women military training. The Amazons (Ἀμαζόνες), a group of woman warriors in Greek mythology, inspired Gaddafi to form a new paramilitary group comprising women in the 1980s. It surprised the world, as Gaddafi, in his “Green Book,” stated that the place of women was in the home.

At the end of June, Gaddafi loyalists decided to deploy women soldiers to combat rebels. Five hundred women of all ages completed a military training program to learn how to use a weapon. Gaddafi's government aimed to make “killing machines” out of every mother, symbol of “love and creation,” according to Moussa Ibrahim, a spokesman of Gaddafi's government, told the Guardian.

Alfarjari said if she had been captured by Gaddafi's forces, she would already have been killed. She added that she has seen no violence at the hands of the rebels. “I deeply regret what I did,” she said.

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