Results tagged “Libya”
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Protesters from the Cyrenaica separatist movement took over local council offices in Beida, and put up posters in Benghazi calling for rallies against federalism. Cyrenaica National Council chief Ahmed Zubair al-Senussi declared the autonomy of the oil-rich eastern region on June 1, saying that it would start to run its own affairs as "a federal territory within the framework of the Libyan state."
French President Hollande denied rumors that France was planning a military intervention against Islamists in southern Libya, but voiced concern about lawlessness in the area. The European Union has announced a mission to help Libya secure its borders. The Libyan Defense Ministry denied asking Russia to send weapons to Libya.
French Foreign Minister Fabius said Tunisia, Algeria, Chad, Mali, and Egypt must work together to help Libya address the growing Islamist threat in the southern part of the country; al Qaeda uses the area for arms trafficking. Libya's Agriculture Minister resigned, for security and personal reasons; he is the third cabinet minister to resign this month. Three soldiers were killed and three more wounded when unknown assailants threw a bomb at a military checkpoint in Benghazi.
A stockpile of weapons outside Brega that was to be destroyed exploded "in heat"; the munitions included 120 Grad missile launchers, 7 Grad missiles, 30 106 mm shells, a mortar shell, and seven C-5 missiles. Alashei Mahdi, the commander of the Qatrun's Martyrs Brigade, an ethnic Tebu militia that has been guarding the massive Elephant gas facility and manning checkpoints in Murzuk, was kidnapped on May 26. Tebu protesters are blockading the Sebha airport until authorities provide information on Mahdi's disappearance.
Prime Minister Zeidan denied allegations that the jihadists who attacked a military base and a uranium mine in Niger on May 23 came from Libya. Both Algeria and Niger have made the allegations, which if true suggest that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, who has claimed the attacks along with MUJAO, has established a base in southern Libya. Reports have emerged since last year that an al Qaeda cell is operating in the southwestern town of Ubari. About 2 million Libyan dinars was stolen from a bank in the southwestern town of Sebha.
Special forces halted and searched a truck in the Gwarsha area of the Benghazi; the vehicle was found to contain a quantity of shoulder-launched heat-seeking ground-to-air missiles, rumored to be SAM-7s, taken from Qaddafi's arsenal. The day before, on May 23, security forces seized a large arms cache in two neighboring houses in Gwarsha that included both heavy weapons such as antitank missiles and light arms. Authorities did not disclose who had amassed the weapons or their intended use; one man was arrested.
A group of armed assailants from "outside the area" attacked the Mellitah oil and gas complex west of Tripoli on May 20; the attackers wounded at least two guards, stole weapons, and made off with 20 vehicles. Guards at the Elephant oil facility in southwest Libya, one of the largest in the country, plan to strike in protest against alleged nonpayment of salaries; they are also demanding vehicles and equipment.
Police responding to reports of a clash at a tourist chalet outside Benghazi found gunmen and about 200 gelatina bombs as well as bomb-making materials. Nine people are being investigated; the military said the bombs were for fishing, not terrorism, but another report alleged the bombs belonged to a terrorist cell. A small bomb detonated near a closed Tripoli hotel; officials tried to suppress the story. Turkey has offered to help rebuild Libya's military.
The army's Thunderbolt battalion raided Benghazi's arms market, shutting it down after confiscating weapons along with contraband alcohol and drugs, and leaving 10 mobile units for security at the market. Bombs and an RPG were thrown at three army posts in Benghazi last night.
Two RPG missiles hit the offices of the Port Authority in Tripoli. An explosives-rigged car blew up near a hospital in Benghazi, killing nine people. A small bomb exploded outside a Benghazi police station. No suspects have been apprehended for any of these attacks.
In Benghazi, two police stations were attacked and a bomb exploded next to a military police camp. Gunmen killed an intelligence officer in Derna. BP followed the US, France, and the UK in pulling some staff out of Libya due to security concerns. Anti-militia protesters in Tripoli blamed Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood for supporting anti-government militias. The Justice Minister said an agreement had been reached with militiamen so they would relax their siege of the Foreign Ministry; in other reports he denied any such deal.
Scores of armed militiamen attacked anti-militia protesters in Tripoli, beating and kicking them and seizing a number of men including a Foreign Ministry official. Two police stations in Benghazi were bombed in coordinated attacks this morning; one person was injured. Britain evacuated some of its staff from the embassy in Tripoli due to ongoing security concerns. The US warned Americans to avoid non-essential travel in Libya, and a US military official said US forces in Europe are on alert due to deteriorating security in the country.