Results tagged “Libya”
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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.
A car bomb wounded a political activist in Benghazi, and last night the office of two TV stations in the city was bombed. The body of a special forces member who had been tortured was found near a Benghazi cemetery. Water pumps are being installed to address water shortages in Benghazi due to clashes and damage to the Sarir power plant. Prime Minister Zeidan urged Congress to repeal Ghaddafi-era laws against the Libyan royal family.
The army said it has not been ordered to move against forces blockading the eastern oil ports. Qaqaa Brigade commander Abu Othman Milaiqtah set off gunfire in front of the Congress building because he had to wait for a meeting with President Abu Sahmain. Foreign Minister Abdelaziz announced the destruction of all of Libya's usable chemical weapons, including 517 artillery projectiles, eight mustard gas bombs, and 45 bomb components. Libya still needs to destroy its Category 2 chemical precursor agents; the deadline is December 2016. In Benghazi, a TV station was hit by an explosion; a bombing at a school injured 12 children; gunmen attacked a hospital yesterday, injuring several patients; an official escaped an assassination attempt in Gwarsha; and Salafist sheikh Rafah Abdullah Al-Hadar was shot and seriously wounded. Niger called for a Western intervention against terrorists in southern Libya.
Libyan and US officials said all of Libya's remaining chemical weapons have been destroyed during a secret US-led operation over the past three months at a site in the Libyan desert. The French foreign ministry denied reports that US commandos are operating in southern Libya to eradicate al Qaeda forces there. In Derna, an air force colonel was assassinated and a businessman was murdered.