|Rebel leader Jalil announced Younes's death at a late press conference on Thursday night. [AFP]
With all grief and sadness, we announce the death of Major General Abdel Fattah Younes Faraj, chief of the general staff of the Libyan army, and his two comrades, Colonel Mohammed Khamis and Major Nasser Mathkour.
I will read the statement of the National Council in this regard:
At a time when our revolutionaries are achieving victory and progress on all fronts against the dictator's forces, and at a time of increasing international recognition of our revolution and the National Council as the sole legitimate ruling authority, when economic and financial conditions have been improved to resolve the current crisis, the isolated dictator regime continues threatening our revolution and vows to harm it, its symbols and heroes.
During the last few days, the regime has mentioned by name one of the heroes of February 17 revolution, General Abdel Fattah Younes, threatening him through its media and saying that good news will be heard about him soon. Some of the regime's defected media announced the same news through other TV channels.
Today, we learned that Major General Abdel Fattah Younes Faraj and his two companions were shot by gunmen after he was summoned to appear before a judicial committee to investigate military affairs. But the deceased did not appear before this committee, because of the procedures that happened to him, which are under investigation.
The head of the armed group, one of them that actually carried out the assassination, was arrested.
Based on the foregoing, the National Council declares the following:
First, we will hold a three-day mourning period for our martyrs.
Second, we will intensify efforts to find those criminals and the bodies of the martyrs.
Third, this is a final warning to the individuals who are armed inside the cities, we will not allow armed militias within the city limits. They have one of two choices: They have to join the front, or they have to join the national security forces inside the cities.
All efforts will be taken to arrest any individual who is bearing arms within the city limits.
I wish to extend condolences to friends and colleagues and to all of you because of the death of General Abdel Fatah Younes and Colonel Khamis and Major Nasser.
And condolences to all the Libyans and all the tribes, especially the tribe of Obeidat that have paid heavily with more than 40 martyrs and in excess of 500 injured at the front.
We urge everyone to unify and we urge everyone to refrain from paying attention to any of these rumours and activities that the Gaddafi regime wishes to initiate within our ranks.
I ask the Obeidat tribe for its understanding of the situation, and all the other tribes that are here to support the Obeidat tribe and support everyone after these accidents, and to remember that ending the regime of Muammar Gaddafi is our foremost objective.
It's our goal and there is no going back. These events will not turn the Obeidat tribe away from the revolution. Relatives of the dead, relatives of the martyrs and some of these tribes are here, and we all ask the Allah the almighty to give his mercy upon all of them.