Results tagged “Libya”
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US officials said that Ahmed Abu Khattala, the alleged ringleader of Ansar al Sharia's deadly September 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, was captured by US commandos during a raid near Benghazi on June 15. Khalid Hafter, head of the "Operation Dignity" forces, warned foreign militants to leave Libya or be killed there; he also accused Qatar and the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group of backing a recent unsuccessful Ansar al Sharia attempt to assassinate him. Hafter said his forces are receiving no foreign funding, but claimed that 80 percent of the Libyan army, navy, and air force is with Operation Dignity. Militants murdered two people in Derna.
The forces of Khalid Haftar's Libyan National Army attacked Islamist bases in the Sidi Faraj and al-Hawari districts of Benghazi; residents fled. Haftar's forces reportedly surrounded Ansar al Sharia fighters in Sidi Faraj and took control of the district. Electricity is out in much of Benghazi. A special forces member and another man were assassinated in Benghazi. A Marj imam who was a member of Dar Al-Ifta, Libya's top religious authority, was tortured and killed. The offices of Al Jazeera in Tripoli and Benghazi closed after attacks following the publication of an audio clip in which a leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), Hussein Jazwi, along with Ajdabiya Local Council head Salem Subhi, is heard asking Al Jazeera's former Libya bureau chief, Iraqi Abdel-Azeem Mohamed, to get funding from Qatar to help them defeat Haftar's forces. Al Jazeera and Qatar called the clip a fake, but Haftar said it was authentic, and accused Qatar of supporting Islamist forces in Libya. The al-Battar Brigade, a Syria-trained Libyan militia affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and Ansar al Sharia, threatened to avenge the death of an emir who was killed in Derna by the rival Abu Slim Martyrs Brigade, which is linked to al Qaeda's Syrian branch, the Al Nusrah Front.
Abdulhakim Belhaj, a co-founder of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and former leader of the Tripoli Military Council, claimed to be against terrorism and announced that the LIFG had dissolved before the beginning of the revolution, but said he was opposed to Khalid Haftar's Libyan National Army "Dignity Campaign" that seeks to rid the country of Islamist extremists. Belhaj denied allegations that during a recent visit to Sudan he had organized the shipment of military supplies, and that the supplies had been sent from Sudan to the Mitiga Airbase. A spokesman for Haftar's forces has claimed that 270 weapons cargoes have been shipped from Sudan to Mitiga for Islamist forces over the past three years. Haftar's forces have denied rumors of a ceasefire. The Interior Ministry said its forces would provide security at Tripoli petrol stations. Deputy Prime Minister Sadiq Abdulkarim is said to be living under heavy protection in Malta; he fled Libya in March after the GNC sacked former prime minister Ali Zeidan.
A suicide bombing at the Bersis checkpoint outside Benghazi manned by soldiers from Khalid Haftar's forces injured three soldiers and three civilians. Ansar al Sharia denied it was negotiating a ceasefire with Haftar's forces.
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.