Results tagged “Libya”
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Al-Mahdi Saad Abu Al-Abyad, a leading member of Ansar al Sharia in Derna, was killed; Ansar al Sharia and the Abu Slim Martyrs Brigade have been clashing in the city since June 6. A member of the Counter Crime Agency was murdered in Benghazi. Political activist Mohamed Bughaighis escaped an assassination attempt in Benghazi; writing scrawled on his house said "What use to you is Haftar?" Salafist preacher Ashraf Al-Maya, a founder of the 17 February Brigade, defected to Haftar's forces. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the leader of Libya's former National Transitional Council, called for the dismissal of Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani after he said Libyans who fight against Haftar's forces will die as martyrs and those who support him are infidels.
A spokesman for Khalid Haftar's "Operation Dignity" forces denied responsibility for a June 7 RPG attack on the Dar al-Ifta institute in Tripoli by two unidentified gunmen, and claimed that Haftar's forces are busy fighting terrorism in Benghazi, where they conducted special operations in Al-Hawari, Sidi Faraj, and Gwarsha. Two bombs detonated on June 6 outside the Tripoli home of former Supreme Security Committee head Hashim Bishr, damaging six homes and destroying 13 vehicles, but no one was hurt. Ansar al Sharia and the Abu Sleem Martyrs Brigade, another Islamist group, have been clashing violently for days in Derna; leaders of both groups have been targeted by car bombings. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the election of Ahmed Maetig by the GNC was unconstitutional; accordingly, Abdullah Thinni remains as Prime Minister. Grand Mufti Sheikh Sadik Al-Ghariani called on Ansar al Sharia to participate in upcoming elections and to refute charges against it. A spokesman for Haftar's forces has warned that Islamist militants are trying to control areas near the Algerian and Tunisian borders after being partially driven out of Benghazi.
The mainly Tebu 25th Brigade, a.k.a. Ahmed Al-Shareef Brigade, which guards the Sarir and Messla oilfields as well as at the Shula oil compound, announced it is joining Khalid Haftar's forces. Intelligence chief Salem El-Hassi resigned on June 5, citing the breakdown of government and the "complicated" security situation. The Supreme Court will rule tomorrow on the legality of last month's election for prime minister.
Libyan National Army forces leader Khalid Haftar survived a suicide bombing at his headquarters yesterday that slightly injured him; he said he is well and that "there will be a strong response" to the attack. Haftar also said that Mohammed Al-Zahawi, Ansar al Sharia's Benghazi commander, had incurred the consequences of his actions. Haftar has received threats from al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb as well as Ansar al Sharia. Haftar's forces bombed Islamist bases in Benghazi's Sidi Faraj, Hawari, and Gwarsha districts. GNC member Abubaker Madur from Ghadames was kidnapped on June 3 in Tripoli. Tripoli police freed the kidnapped son of another GNC member on June 3.
A massive suicide car bomb detonated one kilometer away from the headquarters of Libyan National Army chief Khalid Haftar in Benghazi, killing three people and injuring four more. Haftar's forces claimed to be continuing operations in Benghazi as well as in Derna, where they are targeting al Qaeda leaders. Derna gunmen allegedly from Ansar al Sharia released nine kidnapped youths in exchange for an Egyptian man arrested on June 1 at Labraq airport who was traveling to Turkey with a false Libyan passport; the Egyptian has returned to Derna. Gunmen shot and killed a Swiss official from the Red Cross in Misrata who was visiting Sirte. In Tripoli, the Qaaqaa Brigade is holding Abdulmonem Al-Said, a Tripoli Counter Crime Agency official who kidnapped former Prime Minister Ali Zeidan in October; the brigade wants him to be formally charged for the kidnapping and other crimes.
Khalid Haftar's Libyan National Army claimed that it now controls about 80 percent of Benghazi, after clashes and airstrikes that included bombing the former Crown Prince's palace in the Fuwayhat area, which Ansar al Sharia was using as a headquarters. Medics reported that at least 20 people have been killed and 67 wounded, including civilians, in the clashes in Benghazi alone. Another 18 people were wounded in fighting in al-Marj, east of Benghazi. France's Special Envoy to Libya warned of Libya's "complicated and potentially dangerous situation" and emphasized France's belief that the UN has an important role to play in Libya.
A female news reporter and an associate were found dead with their throats slit in Sebha after being kidnapped. About 800 supporters of Khalid Haftar's "Dignity Campaign" demonstrated in Benghazi. Haftar's forces warned Benghazi University students to stay away from the campus, as Ansar al Sharia and the February 17 Brigade had moved weapons there. Haftar's forces are wrapping up operations in Benghazi's Hawari district, having bombed an Islamist base and liberated 20 Egyptian hostages, and are defusing IEDs left by militants. Jordan joined the list of countries warning their citizens to leave Libya as soon as possible.
Libya is edging closer to chaos as two prime ministers are now competing for legitimacy. The Philippines joined the list of countries that have urged their nationals to leave Libya. A security official who had tried to mediate with Ansar al Sharia was found murdered in Benghazi. Benina airport in Benghazi will remain closed until at least June 1.
Airstrikes by General Haftar's forces hit Islamist targets in Benghazi, including a February 17 militia base and an Ansar al Sharia base in Gwarsha; military operations by Haftar's forces are ongoing in the city. Ansar al Sharia's Benghazi commander, Mohammed Al-Zahawi, called Haftar's Dignity Campaign a "war against Islam" and said Ansar al Sharia would decide when it ended. A policeman was gunned down in Derna. The US warned its citizens to leave Libya immediately and has reduced staff at the embassy to the minimum.
Mohamed Zahawi, the head of Ansar al Sharia's Benghazi brigade, warned the US against intervening in Libya on the side of Haftar Khalifa's forces. The EU's envoy said terrorist groups in the east, particularly Ansar al Sharia, pose a threat that extends beyond Libya's borders. Haftar's forces said they destroyed Islamist weapons stockpiles in Sidi Faraj in Benghazi but that Ansar al Sharia has regrouped in the city. Three Saiqa special forces members and a student are missing in Benghazi after three kidnappings on May 23. The severed head of a student who had challenged the Islamic Army in Derna was found in a mosque. A kidnapped Libyan diplomat was released in Derna after a ransom was paid. The GNC asked caretaker Prime Minister al Thinni to remain in office, after the Justice Ministry said the election of Prime Minister Maetig was invalid. Assailants fired grenades at Maetig's home last night. A group called Ajnad al-Khilafah claimed a May 25 car bombing outside the Tobruk military base and warned of further attacks against supporters of Hafter's campaign, saying "the fields of jihad experienced us in the East and the West."