Results tagged “Libya”
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The EU delegation in Tripoli stated its "deep concerns about the continued detention and the treatment of persons held on alleged charges of proselytism in Libya." Reports, including video, have surfaced of Ansar al Sharia militiamen arresting and assaulting Egyptian Coptic Christians in Benghazi. An independent congressman who has spoken out against armed gangs and militias resigned after receiving death threats.
The US appointed Deborah K. Jones as its new ambassador to Libya, to replace Chris Stevens, who was killed along with three co-workers in Benghazi in September 2012. The NGO Handicap International destroyed 4,500 weapons in Sirte that had been collected by clearance agencies over the past year. The death toll in the so far unexplained alcohol poisoning in Tripoli has risen to 79 out of 709 reported cases.
"Several hundred gunmen," some in military uniforms, attacked a TV station in Tripoli, kidnapping the station's manager, its CEO, and three staff members. The group of attackers, which included Islamists, accused the station of "causing discord" and of ties to former NTC head Mahmoud Jibril. The attackers may be linked to the siege of the General National Council on March 5. A large nail bomb was found at Sirte hospital. The Benghazi Local Council headquarters was stormed on March 6. The UN issued a warning on attacks against minorities and the Libyan media.
Some 500-600 armed demonstrators held the General National Congress hostage all day, demanding the passage of a law prohibiting any member of the National Transitional Council from holding political office; one congressman was attacked and wounded. The army, backed by militias, moved in to secure an oil complex west of Tripoli, after two days of fighting between rival militias from Zintan and Zuara over control of the complex that killed one fighter and wounded two more; the facility was temporarily shut down. Iraq is expected to agree to a prisoner transfer deal.
Extremists attacked a Coptic church in Benghazi on Feb. 28 and assaulted the priest and his assistant. Earlier in the week, 50 to 100 Copts were arrested on charges of proselytizing and deported to Egypt; Coptic authorities said the Copts were tortured while in Libyan detention. On Dec. 30, attackers bombed a Coptic church in Misrata, killing two people.
Ansar al Sharia has re-emerged in Benghazi, maintaining a checkpoint at the western entrance to the city and controlling the road to Tripoli. Although its security role is unauthorized, the group is negotiating a deal allowing it to turn over detainees to the government. Members of another Islamist group, the Rafallah al-Sahati battalion, are also reassuming positions in the city.
Prime Minister Zeidan said a number of government officials have been sacked and replaced. A new police chief was appointed for Benghazi after protesting policemen demanded that the former chief be dismissed and the penal code be made compliant with sharia law. A prosecutor was beaten up and detained for five days in Benghazi. A terrorist cell in Bani Walid was dismantled after an explosion killed its leader, a member of the "Khamis Brigade."
A security official escaped an assassination attempt in Benghazi. Thousands protested in Benghazi demanding better security; neither government officials nor Ansar al Sharia and other Islamist groups attended the protest. Four foreigners were arrested in Benghazi on suspicion of distributing Christian books and proselytizing. The military deployed 25 armored vehicles to the east.