Results tagged “Libya”
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Saiqa Special Forces withdrew from its Buatni headquarters in Benghazi following heavy shelling and rocket attacks by Ansar al Sharia and allied Islamist forces. A fighter jet used by Operation Dignity crashed during the fighting but the pilot ejected safely. Saiqa forces claimed to have captured 12 Ansar al Sharia snipers, of whom three were Syrians. Both Ansar al Sharia and Operation Dignity recently claimed to have received new equipment. Former Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur, who was elected to the new House of Representatives, was kidnapped at gunpoint from his home. Tripoli was somewhat calm due to a temporary ceasefire, but fighting is expected to resume as Tebus said they are sending a battalion to the capital to support the Zintanis and Operation Dignity, and Gharian is supporting the Islamist Misratan alliance. The leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK, and the US called for the United Nations to try to resolve the crisis.
Islamist fighters fired rockets into a second fuel tank near Tripoli airport, setting it on fire, ignoring calls for a ceasefire from the government as well as international envoys. The government called for international help to extinguish the massive blaze, which is out of control in the capital. Many embassies have closed in Tripoli due to insecurity. British Embassy staff evacuating Tripoli escaped an attempted carjacking yesterday. In Benghazi, fighting between Islamists and government forces allied with Operation Dignity continues; over the past few days, two senior Ansar al Sharia members, Idris Majbre and Ahmed Ali Mohammed Musbah Al Zahawi, brother of Ansar's leader in Derna, Mohammed Al-Zahawi, were killed, and three brothers in the military police have disappeared. US court filings revealed that the Libyan government is paying the legal fees for the defense of senior al Qaeda operative Abu Anas al Libi.
In Benghazi, Islamist fighters from Ansar al Sharia and the February 17 Battalion continued to clash with the forces of Operation Dignity and allied government forces; at least 36 people were killed and 65 wounded in fighting over the past two days. A rocket hit a house in Tripoli, killing 23 Egyptian workers. A Syrian man was killed and three Libyans were injured when an arms depot blew up in Khoms as weapons were being transferred to the Central Shield Brigade in Tripoli. Water, electricity, and fuel shortages are occurring in both Tripoli and Benghazi due to the ongoing clashes. The US evacuated its staff from the embassy in Tripoli yesterday.
In Benghazi, eight people were killed and 19 injured, some critically, in ongoing clashes between Ansar al Sharia and the forces of Operation Dignity, which have been bolstered by Ibrahrim Jadhran's militia as well as the Al-Ahdaf Al-Hayawiya from Tobruk and Beida. Turkey urged its citizens to leave Libya. The Central Bank has been trying to make secret deliveries of cash to banks across the country. Ansar al Sharia Libya released photos of its recent attacks on two Saiqa Special Forces camps in Benghazi; the terror group's commander, Muhammad al Zahawi, appears in the photos.
Following the killing of at least 14 people after Ansar al Sharia attacked a Saiqa Special Forces camp in Benghazi, the Saiqa commander called for reinforcements, urging the government as well as all Libyans to stand up against the "terrorist groups." Ansar al Sharia carried out twin suicide car bomb attacks on Saiqa Camp 319 in Benghazi yesterday. A Grad rocket blamed on Islamist militias hit a fuel tank at Tripoli airport. Oil production has been hampered by insecurity.
In Benghazi, a suicide bombing killed at least four people at an army base, and at least 14 people were killed in fighting between Ansar al Sharia and the forces of Operation Dignity. After clashes between Zintani forces defending Tripoli airport and Islamist forces from Misrata attacking it left 47 people dead, Zintani forces claimed to have defeated the attackers and accused the Grand Mufti of backing them. The Filipino Embassy told all Philippines citizens to leave Libya after the decapitated body of a Christian Filipino construction worker was found in Benghazi; Japan closed its embassy in Tripoli due to insecurity. A helicopter carrying money from Benghazi to Beida crashed after takeoff, killing one person.
Ansar al Sharia forces attacked an army camp in Benghazi but were repelled by Operation Dignity forces with airstrikes; one person was killed and 20 injured in the clash. Fighting in Tripoli between Islamist militants and Zintani militias loyal to the government spread to the suburbs of Janzour and Abu Saleem; some 60 technicals belonging to the Islamist forces were said to have been pinned down in Gasr Bin Gashir. Foreign staff of the oil companies ENI and Total have been evacuated from Libya. Gunmen ambushed an ambulance transporting a patient wounded by fighting in Sabratha and killed him.
After a two-day relative lull, heavy fighting between the defending Zintani militia and the Islamist Misratan militia flared up around Tripoli airport; houses in the nearby Qasr Ben Ghashir area were shelled and at least four people are said to have been killed, two of whom were civilians. In Benghazi, two Egyptians were killed when mortars fired at a Saiqa Special Forces headquarters missed their target. Suspected Ansar al Sharia gunmen killed a member of the rival Abu Sleem Martyrs Brigade in Derna. The outgoing GNC rejected the idea of foreign intervention to resolve the conflict at the airport.
A two-day ceasefire between Zintani and Misratan militias at the Tripoli airport appears to be holding, but the militias have not yet departed. Some clashes are still occurring, and the Islamist Misrata militia commander said the truce applied "only around the airport." The militias are to leave within two weeks, and a neutral brigade from Jadu is set to arrive. A grenade was thrown at a Tripoli police station, and the night before a car bomb exploded near Airport Road. Justice Minister Marghani said Libya is considering having the International Criminal Court prosecute the perpetrators of attacks on the airport.
As clashes between Islamist Misratan militias and Zintani forces loyal to the government continued for a fifth day in Tripoli, the Misrata city council said it would not tolerate any foreign intervention; Misratan commanders said reinforcements had arrived. Suspected Islamist militants bombed a police station in Sousa. Al Qaeda issued a video in which emir Ayman al Zawahiri urged "Libyan brothers" to take revenge for the deaths of Ibn al Sheikh al Libi, Abu Yahya al-Libi, Attiya al Libi "and the rest of the Muslims."
The Foreign Ministry asked the UN Security Council for help in protecting strategic sites such as oil facilities and airports. Suspected Islamist militants gunned down Fareha al-Barqawi, a popular former congresswoman, while she was stopped at a gas station in Derna. An Air Force colonel who was kidnapped by al Qaeda in Derna was released after a ransom was paid. The government threatened militia leaders with prosecution. In Benghazi, a sergeant died of injuries from clashes on July 14 between Saiqa Special Forces and Ansar al Sharia at Jalaa Hospital, and an imam who had retired from Saiqa was killed by a bomb attached to his car. The Islamist militia Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room claimed that its allied forces had attacked the Tripoli airport to prevent Operation Dignity from flying Russian MiG fighter jets into the facility for use against the Islamist forces.
Faraj Al Shibli, a suspect in the September 2012 attack on the US Mission in Benghazi, was found dead on July 13 outside the city of Marj. Shibli a.k.a. Chalabi, who was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and was questioned by the FBI while in Libyan custody in 2013 but was released, reportedly also had links with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as well as al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Dozens of rockets were fired at Tripoli airport, aircraft were hit, the control tower caught fire, and as many as 15 people were killed and 70 wounded in clashes. About 90% of the planes at the airport are said to have been damaged, and many of them are completely destroyed. The government is considering asking for international intervention to protect civilians and institutions. Security forces discovered and dismantled six 200-kilogram bombs rigged in three cars in Tripoli's Salaheddin district. Mahmoud Obeidi, the recently kidnapped son of Gen. Suleiman Obeidi, was released; the general last night denounced Operation Dignity on a Qatari TV station.
At least seven people have been killed and 36 wounded, and homes were damaged by rockets, in clashes between rival militias in Tripoli; the airport has been closed. The only airport still operating is Labraq in Beida. In Benghazi, six people were killed and 25 were wounded, including Saiqa special forces members, in clashes between Islamist militias and the forces of Operation Dignity. Abdulmonem Al-Said, who allegedly kidnapped former prime minister Zeidan last fall, is said to have been killed along with two of his bodyguards near the airport in Tripoli.
Islamist militias, including the Central Libya Shield, Marsa Misratan Brigade, Hateen, 27th Mobile Infantry, and the Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room, surrounded and attacked Tripoli's airport, trying to take control from the Zintani militias that have been defending it. Seven people have been killed and 36 wounded so far in the clash; all flights have been diverted. The assault on the airport is part of an Islamist offensive called "Libya Dawn"; the militants are trying to drive the Qaaqaa and Sawaq brigades, considered part of the Libyan army, out of the capital city. Rockets destroyed part of Benghazi's Benina airport yesterday; it is closed to civilian flights due to attacks by Ansar al Sharia but is being used as a base for the helicopters of the Operation Dignity forces. Also in Benghazi, an army colonel and an air force colonel were murdered in separate killings, and nine people, including military personnel and women, were kidnapped on July 10. The US, the UK, and Italy all expressed concern over the worsening security situation in the country.