Results tagged “Libya”
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Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room head Shaaban Hadia Al-Zway, who was freed in a prisoner swap for five kidnapped Egyptian diplomats, is awaiting repatriation from Egypt; authorities said he had been detained because his Egyptian residency had expired, not for al Qaeda links. A Benghazi media activist escaped an attempted car bombing. Gunmen assassinated the head of the local council in Reyayna and injured another man. International flights in and out of Sirte airport have been suspended. The government still has not provided troops to quell fighting in Sebha, and said the reason reinforcements have been kept in Jufra is "classified."
Five kidnapped Egyptian diplomats, as well as Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room head Shaban Hadia Al-Zway, who was arrested two days ago in Alexandria on suspicion of links to al Qaeda, were reportedly freed after kidnappers holding the five diplomats gave Egypt 24 hours to release him. As a precaution, Egypt had evacuated staff from its embassy in Tripoli and consulate in Benghazi yesterday. Sebha is now said to be calm, but 99 people have been killed and 139 wounded in recent clashes; promised government forces never arrived. Schools and universities in Janzour, a few miles west of Tripoli, were closed due to ongoing clashes.
Five Egyptian diplomats were kidnapped in Tripoli, reportedly in retaliation for the arrest of Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room head Shaaban Masoud Khalifa a.k.a. Abu Obaida Al-Zawy, who was detained last night in Alexandria, Egypt, on suspicion of links to al Qaeda. During a Benghazi special forces raid on a militant Islamist cell, four militants were arrested, a special forces member was killed, and a hit list with names of police and military officials was seized. A Benghazi radio presenter and former security official was in stable condition following an assassination attempt.
An armed group attacked the Sarir oil field with heavy weapons and cut the main power line that provides electricity from the Sarir power plant to Benghazi and other towns, including Kufra and Jalo. In Benghazi, two civilians were murdered and a businessman who had been kidnapped was found dead with marks of torture on his body. Army reinforcements arrived in Sebha, where two more people died in clashes. Libya's Grand Mufti told revolutionaries to "eliminate" criminals and insurgents in Warshefana and in Sebha.
The Congress commissioned President Nuri Abu Sahmain to assume the role of Commander in Chief for a month to deal with instability in the country, including ongoing clashes in Sebha. Five alleged Ghaddafi supporters were killed when security forces discovered the large group they were with; the rest of the group escaped. Fighting resumed in Janzour and Wershefana. A South Korean trade official who was kidnapped on Jan. 20 in Tripoli was freed. Reporters Without Borders condemned the recent attacks on journalists and urged the establishment of a responsible judiciary.
Two special forces members and an unidentified person were killed by a car bomb in Benghazi. Amid deteriorating security in Kufra, two people were killed and three were wounded by mortar fire in clashes between Tebus and Zwais. Prime Minister Zeidan said security has been regained in Sebha after the arrival of troops yesterday, and that more troops are on their way. An Italian cemetery in Mansoura was attacked for a third time in less than a week.
The government denied rumors that foreign forces have entered through Libya's southeastern border. Three journalists were beaten near Sebha by alleged pro-Ghaddafi fighters before being released. Heavy clashes continued south of the Tripoli suburb of Janzour. Five ministers from the Islamist Justice and Construction Party resigned from the government.
Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is said to be regrouping and moving freely between bases in Libya and neighboring countries; one base is in the Akkakush mountains near the Algerian border. The lack of a functioning military and police force is hampering efforts to maintain security, as clashes continue in the south. The Sarir power station closed due to security concerns. In Tripoli, a South Korean official was kidnapped, a candidate for the constitutional drafting committee escaped being assassinated, tensions remained in Warshefana and Janzour after the kidnapping of two local officials, and a guard at an Italian cemetery was killed and graves were damaged. In Benghazi, two security force members were murdered, another was injured by a grenade attack, and a police official escaped a car bombing.
The army chief of staff was killed in a clash between gangs and security forces in Tripoli. Congress ordered a state of high alert across the country, due to violence in the south. Government forces regained control of the Tamenhint airbase, but clashes continued in Sebha between army forces and Tebu militants. Three soldiers were killed in an ambush near the Sarir oilfield. Alleged pro-Ghaddafi supporters tried to vandalize an Italian cemetery in Tripoli. Masked gunmen attempting to storm a barracks and raid an armory in Benghazi were repelled by security forces.
A two-day truce collapsed in Sebha, as armed clashes broke out yesterday in which two people were killed and two more were wounded. Prime Minister Zeidan urged revolutionaries to head to the south to help the military and the Libyan Shield Brigades battle pro-Ghaddafi forces who have seized an airbase outside Sebha. In Benghazi yesterday, an explosives disposal expert was killed and three colleagues seriously wounded by a remotely-detonated bomb at a cigaratte kiosk, and a special forces soldier was murdered as he left Friday prayers. Two Italian construction workers were kidnapped in Derna.
The US Senate report on the September 2012 attack on the Benghazi mission notes that 15 Libyans who helped investigate the attack have since been murdered in Benghazi. Libyan media reiterated allegations that state security and intelligence agencies have been infiltrated, amid reports of escapes of suspects such as alleged Benghazi assassin Ali Al-Fezzani. Prime Minister Zeidan said the police are terrorized by militias, and threatened the use of force to secure the country. The Muslim Brotherhood urged Congress to sack Zeidan. Gunmen assassinated a political activist in Derna. A newspaper editor's home was hit by an RPG in Tripoli.
Gunmen fired 20 rounds into the Congress chamber yesterday. In the past 48 hours in Benghazi, a policeman and a special forces officer were assassinated in separate attacks, another special forces officer escaped an assassination attempt, and police station was targeted in a grenade attack. In Janzour, a councilor who also served as an imam was kidnapped. A 4x4 rally was postponed due to insecurity in Sebha. The son of Defense Minister Al-Thinni was released by kidnappers after four months' captivity. Libyan officials have announced the implementation of sharia law throughout the country.
The Deputy Minister of Industry, Hassan Al-Darole, was assassinated in Sirte. Ongoing clashes between members of the Awlad Sulieman clan and Tebu tribesmen in Sebha have killed at least 19 people and wounded 45. The former head of security in Wadi Shati near Sebha was shot dead in Tripoli yesterday. In Benghazi, an army colonel was murdered yesterday, a criminal investigations officer was critically injured by gunmen on Jan. 9, and a car bomb exploded yesterday while another bomb was defused.