Results tagged “Libya”
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Faraj Al Shibli, a suspect in the September 2012 attack on the US Mission in Benghazi, was found dead on July 13 outside the city of Marj. Shibli a.k.a. Chalabi, who was a member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and was questioned by the FBI while in Libyan custody in 2013 but was released, reportedly also had links with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula as well as al Qaeda in Pakistan.
Dozens of rockets were fired at Tripoli airport, aircraft were hit, the control tower caught fire, and as many as 15 people were killed and 70 wounded in clashes. About 90% of the planes at the airport are said to have been damaged, and many of them are completely destroyed. The government is considering asking for international intervention to protect civilians and institutions. Security forces discovered and dismantled six 200-kilogram bombs rigged in three cars in Tripoli's Salaheddin district. Mahmoud Obeidi, the recently kidnapped son of Gen. Suleiman Obeidi, was released; the general last night denounced Operation Dignity on a Qatari TV station.
At least seven people have been killed and 36 wounded, and homes were damaged by rockets, in clashes between rival militias in Tripoli; the airport has been closed. The only airport still operating is Labraq in Beida. In Benghazi, six people were killed and 25 were wounded, including Saiqa special forces members, in clashes between Islamist militias and the forces of Operation Dignity. Abdulmonem Al-Said, who allegedly kidnapped former prime minister Zeidan last fall, is said to have been killed along with two of his bodyguards near the airport in Tripoli.
Islamist militias, including the Central Libya Shield, Marsa Misratan Brigade, Hateen, 27th Mobile Infantry, and the Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room, surrounded and attacked Tripoli's airport, trying to take control from the Zintani militias that have been defending it. Seven people have been killed and 36 wounded so far in the clash; all flights have been diverted. The assault on the airport is part of an Islamist offensive called "Libya Dawn"; the militants are trying to drive the Qaaqaa and Sawaq brigades, considered part of the Libyan army, out of the capital city. Rockets destroyed part of Benghazi's Benina airport yesterday; it is closed to civilian flights due to attacks by Ansar al Sharia but is being used as a base for the helicopters of the Operation Dignity forces. Also in Benghazi, an army colonel and an air force colonel were murdered in separate killings, and nine people, including military personnel and women, were kidnapped on July 10. The US, the UK, and Italy all expressed concern over the worsening security situation in the country.
In Benghazi, gunmen kidnapped Mahmoud Obeidi, a son of Major General Suleiman Obeidi, who has been linked to Operation Dignity; another of Obeidi's sons was kidnapped last year and is still missing. A civilian who tried to rescue girls from a hijacking was killed in Benghazi on July 9, as was a soldier. In Derna, a policeman was murdered and a former commander of the Abu Sleem Martyrs Brigade escaped an attempted murder; the brigade and Ansar al Sharia have been clashing for weeks.
The UN is pulling "several dozen" of its mission staff from Libya due to deteriorating security. In Benghazi, a former revolutionary and political activist was shot dead, and a policeman was murdered; missiles blamed on Ansar al Sharia hit a TV station and the home of a doctor. Operation Dignity announced the arrest of four Yemenis and a Libyan suspected of belonging to al Qaeda; they had been monitored for two weeks at a hotel in Benghazi's Sabri district.
Six people were murdered in Benghazi last night, including a Saiqa special forces soldier. Sabri police station in Benghazi was bombed to the ground in two attacks over the past two days. In response to recent Ansar al Sharia attacks on Benina Airbase, Khalid Haftar's Operation Dignity forces bombed Ansar Al-Sharia and 17 February Brigade targets in Benghazi on June 6. In Derna, Operation Dignity forces carried out airstrikes in the Al Hussein seafront district, an Air Force officer and a business leader were kidnapped in separate incidents, and several shops were bombed; reports that US forces recently seized a local Islamist leader in Derna were denied. Two of three Europeans kidnapped on June 5 in Zuwara have been freed.
A car bomb in Benghazi killed a Saiqa special forces officer and injured his son; a car bomb in March killed the officer's brother. An air force officer was murdered in Benghazi yesterday. Nineteen people have been murdered in Benghazi since the start of Ramadan, including three Salafist imams; the killing of the imams is blamed on militant Islamists. The standoff continues between Ansar and Sharia and the Benghazi Joint Security Room over Jalaa hospital. Tarik Elourfi, a Muslim Brotherhood member, was named mayor of Benghazi in a controversial election the day after a prominent Benghazi rights activist was murdered and her husband kidnapped. Saiqa special forces said 56 Benghazi residents, including policemen, members of the intelligence and special forces services, and six females, are currently being held by kidnappers. A Sufi imam was kidnapped in Tripoli. Three Europeans were kidnapped in Zuwara.
Two members of the Benghazi Security Directorate's Investigation Unit were gunned down on their way to work. Benghazi's Jalaa Hospital has asked the government to intervene to resolve the standoff between Ansar al Sharia and the Benghazi Joint Security Room (BJSR) at the hospital. The Libyan Embassy in Tanzania said acting ambassador Ismail Nwairat committed suicide in his Dar es Salam office on July 1.
In Benghazi, a Salafist imam who had spoken out against terrorism was gunned down, and a child was killed by gunfire between fighting "gangs." The Benghazi Joint Security Room is asking mediators to help get Ansar al Sharia to evacuate Jalaa Hospital. Mohamed Al-Harizi, a top official in the Islamist Justice and Construction Party, was freed from kidnappers whom he claimed were associated with Khalid Haftar's forces. Cyrenaica federalists said they would end their closure of the Ras Lanuf and Sidra oil terminals. The Foreign Ministry is said to be "in disarray" after armed militants reportedly from the Libyan Revolutionaries Operating Room occupied the ministry on June 26.
The government legalized the ownership of firearms. The central bank said individual travelers cannot take more than $10,000 in or out of the country. The spokesman for Khalid Haftar's forces said Turks had been "too quick" to leave following an ultimatum issued last week to Turks and Qataris in eastern Libya. Ali Al-Sanani, a well-known member of Ansar al Sharia, was shot and killed in Benghazi on June 29. Husam Al-Naili, a top official in the Islamist Justice and Construction Party, is said to have been kidnapped on June 29 in Tripoli. Gunmen murdered a former Benina airbase worker and his son in Benghazi. The Interior Ministry, which fired 200 people last week, admitted that over 700 certificates with forged qualifications had been submitted by employees.
A spokesman for Khalid Haftar's "Operation Dignity" forces said the Libya Shield militia, which conducted surveillance of the home of slain activist Salwa Bugaighis prior to her murder, was probably responsible. A gardener injured in the attack has died under mysterious circumstances, apparently after torture. Saiqa Special Forces freed a kidnapped man in Benghazi. The bodies of a slain former Air Force colonel and another man were brought to a Benghazi hospital. The Benghazi Joint Security Room ordered the evacuation of Jalaa hospital, which Ansar al Sharia seized from the BJSR following clashes in Benghazi's port last week. Suspected Islamists firebombed a coffee shop in an upscale Tripoli neighborhood. Two RPGs were fired at the Sudanese Embassy in Tripoli on June 27.