Results tagged “Libya”
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Security forces in Tripoli found a bomb attached to the undercarriage of an Italian diplomatic car. University students in Tripoli went on strike to protest poor security on campus, where attacks by armed men have increased. Reporters Without Borders condemned the rising number of attacks on journalists in Libya. The government has asked to buy two C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport planes from the US.
Following clashes in Benghazi over the weekend between militias and government forces in which 31 people were killed and over 100 wounded, the head of the Libyan army, General Yussef al-Mangoush, resigned. Congress is demanding a plan for the integration of all militias into the armed forces. Libya is seeking to recover more than $1 billion in Gaddafi regime assets before they are moved out of South Africa.
About 200 armed protesters attacked the headquarters of the "Shield of Libya" militia coalition in Benghazi in an attempt to dislodge the group from its barracks. At least 25 people have been killed and dozens wounded in the fighting. An army spokesperson called the Shield Brigade "a reserve force under the Libyan army."
The government ordered Libya's National Oil Corporation, Libyan Airlines, the Libya Company for Insurance, and the Internal Investment Company to move to Benghazi. Hanan Al-Newaisery, a human rights lawyer and activist, was assaulted and beaten in a Misrata courtroom, as was her father, who required hospital care after trying to protect her from the attackers. Onlookers stood idly by during the incident, and no arrests were made. Al-Newaisery said she had been threatened repeatedly before the attack.
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.