Dignity Operation Command released Benghazi butcher Mahmoud Al-Werfalli in the early hours of Thursday after taking him from the Military Police HQs in Benghazi to “the General Command” in Rajma town, 27 km east of the city.

Several protesters from Saiqa Forces and Sahawat fighters barricaded roads with burning tyres after reports emerged that a military force stormed the Military Police HQs, where Mahmoud Al-Werfalli was being investigated, and took him to Rajma.

Other protesters wanted to storm the Military Police HQs, but Saiqa guards dissuaded them from doing so. The protesters demanded “the General Command” to release Al-Werfalli immediately.

A video circulated on social media pages late on Wednesday showed senior Sahawat fighter from Masakan district “Adel Makhadda” speaking over telephone with Al-Werfalli through a mediator.

In the video, Makhadda (in English the pillow) assured Al-Werfalli that all Masakan residents are with him, threatening to demolish “the General Command” of Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army if he “Werfalli” did not return to Benghazi prior to the daylight of Thursday.

Saiqa sources confirmed that Al-Werfalli was released and returned to Benghazi safely.

Another video was released later that showed Saiqa Forces celebrating the release of Al-Werfalli in Keesh Square. Some fighters in the video praised the role of “Makhadda” in the release of Al-Werfalli.   

On Tuesday, Al-Werfalli handed himself in to the Military Police HQs for investigations over ICC charges. Shortly an armed group led by Khalifa Haftar’s sons stormed the HQs and took Al-Werfalli to Rajma, sparking angry protests in the streets of Benghazi over fears that he may be handed over to the ICC.

Mahmud Al-Werfalli is a senior field commander of Saiqa Forces of Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled army. He is wanted for the International Criminal Court for committing at least 10 summary executions on camera in Benghazi.