On Monday, the 166th Infantry Brigade of the Libyan National Army (LNA) announced that they had captured a member of the notorious Kani militia, linked to a series of crimes including murder, kidnapping, and extortion in Sirte.
A video confession released by the LNA detailed the accused’s involvement in several criminal activities.
The suspect admitted to the murder of Judge Mohamed Amer, executed under directives from militia leaders Abdel-Rahim Al-Kani and Mukhlouf Douma, following a targeted operation in the Qarabulli area. He also confessed to a murder and carjacking on the Coastal Road leading to Tarhuna, alongside other militia members.
Further confessions revealed his role in the assassination of members of the Abu Nuwara family. Two cousins from this family were killed, on orders from the Al-Kani militia leadership. One incident involved the seizure of a truck near Tarhuna’s Friday Market area, allegedly carrying hashish, leading to the truck owner’s execution.
Another unnamed victim from the same family was also murdered, following commands from Tarhuna’s Judicial Police chief, Nasser Abu Nuwara, also known as “Nasser Al-Lahsah.”
Additionally, the accused confessed to the murder of Abdel-Salam Abu Nuwara, following a three-month imprisonment in Tarhuna’s Judicial Police. Abu Nuwara was implicated in the killing of Mohamed Al-Kani, based on confessions from another individual, Imad Al-Masoudi.
The detainee also acknowledged the militia’s involvement in the killing of another family member in the Friday Market area. This murder occurred during an operation to arrest individuals involved in purchasing Toyota “Tiger” cars. The victim later died at the Tarhuna Judicial Police headquarters, as per instructions from Abdel-Rahim Al-Kani.
Mohamed Al-Kani was killed in July 2021 by gunmen linked to Saddam Haftar, son of LNA Commander, Khalifa Haftar, according to Mohammed Al-Keshir, head of the Tarhuna Steering Council. He expressed a preference for capturing Mohamed Al-Kani alive, for interrogation and judicial proceedings.
The Kani militia, under Mohamed’s command, was an ally of the LNA, and participated in the assault on Tripoli, using Tarhuna as a strategic base for the offensive.
The Kani militants are infamously known for their direct responsibility in creating mass graves. Mohamed and his associates fled to the eastern region, after the offensive failed in June 2020.
This incident reflects the ongoing efforts by Libyan authorities and armed forces to address the legacy of militia rule, and bring those responsible for war crimes to justice, a crucial step in Libya’s long and arduous journey toward reconciliation and stability.