Results tagged “Libya”
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A US report said illicit trafficking in weapons, migrants, drugs, and smuggled goods now binds Libya's regions together more effectively than government does. Gunmen shot and killed a Benghazi policeman yesterday and injured another. Staff at a Benghazi hospital protested against growing insecurity. Violence in the south has caused the closure of a number of polling stations. Prime Minister Zeidan said Libya would start using Interpol red notices to arrest those who threaten security.
The military prosecutor said the air force helicopter that crashed near Essider two weeks ago was shot down by an armed group calling itself Al-Isnad Alamni; armed militants had fired at the aircraft as it was leaving Benghazi airport. A group of Bangladeshi workers kidnapped yesterday in Benghazi was freed by special forces. Arsonists torched the offices of the Bani Walid local council.
The bodies of seven Egyptian Christians who had been dragged from their Benghazi home and shot in the head were found on a beach outside the city. The Qatari Embassy denied that six men arrested in Benghazi last week were Qataris, and said there were no Qatari citizens in Libya except embassy staff. Derna residents denied reports that the home of ex-Gitmo detainee and Ansar Al-Sharia Sufian Bin Qumu was attacked by RPGs during a nearby clash in Derna last night. The GNC was evacuated last night after reports of heavy gunfire.
An RPG was fired at the Tunisian Consulate in Benghazi, which was attacked by Ansar al Sharia in June 2012. Gunmen murdered the son of a prominent doctor in Benghazi who had escaped an assassination attempt months ago. Benghazi Medical Centre staffers went on strike after gunmen stole their cell phones and a TV. A Tripoli hotel was set on fire during clashes between two armed groups.
Police arrested six Qataris at Benghazi airport carrying fake Libyan passports and $146,000 as they tried to board a flight to Istanbul. Two security force members were killed in Benghazi, and an unexploded bomb was found in a Benghazi school. Judges across the country have stopped working due to frequent assassinations and harassment. A joint Libyan-Tunisian inquiry has begun into the crash of Libyan military aid plane with a senior member of Ansar al Sharia allegedly on board.
A jihadist group calling itself the"Martyrs Brigades" announced its formation and that of the "Brigade of Hamza Abu Shartila"; the group flies al Qaeda's flag in its logo. A former leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group was among 11 people killed in a plane crash in Tunisia.
Ansar al Sharia in Libya issued a statement vowing it will no longer accept oppression, denouncing democracy, calling for sharia law, and threatening that the hands of "our people in Benghazi" and in other areas "are on the triggers." Turnout was low in the election for a constitutional drafting committee. In Derna, gunmen shot a man and blew up five polling stations, and Tebu tribesmen blocked 29 polling stations in Murzuq. A Benghazi judge died of injuries from an assassination attempt.
A judge was critically injured by a car bombing attack in Benghazi. The government played down threats by two militias calling for GNC members to quit; but over 20 GNC members left after the threats. Prime Minister Zeidan said a compromise was reached with the militias to extend the deadline for the GNC by 72 hours. The Tripoli offices of a TV station that has criticized Ansar al Sharia and the Muslim Brotherhood was hit by antiaircraft missiles, in the second attack on the station in a week.
The al-Sawaiq and Qaqa militia brigades told the Congress to hand over power within five hours. Security guards at Benghazi's Benina airport forced it to close for six hours as they demanded back pay and an investigation into the recent crash of a military helicopter. The military police criticized the GNC for stating that Major General Khalifa Haftar, who is accused of attempting a coup, had been tracked down by intelligence agencies; the military police claimed sole authority to arrest him.
Wreckage from an Air Force helicopter that crashed last week with five people aboard was found near Essider; the cause of the crash has not been determined. A remotely-detonated bomb inflicted heavy damage on the Scouts and Guides building in Benghazi.
About 90 inmates escaped from Mager Prison in Zliten; some 1,700 prisoners have escaped in a series of breakouts across Libya over the past 12 months. An Air Force helicopter that went missing on Feb. 13 near Essider still has not been located. Gunmen tried to assassinate a policeman in Benghazi yesterday. Two Benghazi hospitals closed on Feb. 13 due to security concerns.
Khalifa Haftar, the former head of Libya's ground forces, announced that "[t]he national command of the Libyan army is declaring a movement for the new road map" and called for suspension of the interim parliament. Prime Minister Zeidan dismissed the statement, saying everything is "under control" and "working just fine." Defense Minister al Thani reportedly said that a military coup had been foiled, and orders have been issued to arrest those behind the coup. Abdullah Mansur, Ghaddafi's former security chief, has been handed over to Libya by Niger.
In separate Benghazi attacks, an army officer and the local head of security for a mobile phone company and his driver were shot dead. An air force MI-16 helicopter has gone missing near the eastern town of Essider. A group of Zintanis tampered with an oil pipe in Jebel Nafusa, cutting the flow of oil from the Sharara field by 60 percent. Prime Minister Zeidan said rebuilding Libya's intelligence service takes time. Suspected Islamist gunmen attacked a TV station in Tripoli yesterday.
Two more congressmen resigned; some GNC members reportedly have received death threats telling them to resign. Reports that explosives were found at the GNC yesterday were denied. Men in military uniforms abducted a newspaper editor in Tripoli. Two people were killed and another two were injured in a house explosion in Benghazi yesterday, and an air force officer was assassinated outside a military building in the city. The OPCW said nearly 850 tons of chemical weapons precursors remain to be destroyed in Libya. Video of the US' Oct. 5 capture of wanted al Qaeda operative Anas al Libi in Tripoli was made public.
Former Attorney General Abdulaziz Al-Hassadi was murdered in Derna yesterday, and a judge in the city escaped an attempted assassination. The local council office in Adjadbiya was torched by a petrol bomb attack. Two bombs in Benghazi destroyed a restaurant and eight cars; one explosion took place near a congressman's house. A Salafist imam said to have been part of Ghaddafi's external intelligence force was murdered in Benghazi on Feb. 7. The outage at the Sarir power plant, which has continued since attacks there on Jan. 20, is putting the Libyan electricity grid at risk. Libya has sent 5,000 troops overseas for training, but critics say the process of building an army is taking too long.
Officials in Tripoli and Benghazi warned citizens not to participate in protests against the extension of the GNC's mandate today. More than 80 armed attackers tried to storm the offices of Libya Al-Ahrar TV in Benghazi early yesterday. The staff of another Benghazi TV station closed their office after threats and the kidnapping of their director. Both stations have been critical of Ansar al Sharia and the Muslim Brotherhood. A National Forces Alliance party official who survived an assassination attempt in Tripoli said the attackers were members of the General Staff. The National Forces party wants to dissolve the GNC; some say the General Staff is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, which does not. Two kidnapped Italian workers were freed.