Results tagged “Libya”
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Khalifa Haftar, head of the Libyan National Army, called newly-elected Prime Minister Meitig "illegitimate" and said parliamentary elections should be postponed for at least three months while LNA forces rid the country of terrorists. Haftar's forces are conducting reconnaissance over Derna, looking for Islamist militants, including Ansar al Sharia. Benghazi's Benina airport closed after a rocket attack, and nearby Beida airport, citing security concerns, urged airlines to prevent non-Libyans from boarding international flights to Beida. A Benghazi newspaper editor who had recently interviewed Haftar was murdered. Gunmen killed a Salafist imam in Benghazi on May 23. Classes at a Benghazi college were suspended after gunmen fired at a bus carrying female students. Bank robberies are leading to threatened bank closures in Libya.
A missile hit a building in Benghazi, injuring 21 Egyptians. The government demanded that the Libya Central Shield, Qaaqaa brigade, and Sawaiq brigade all leave Tripoli. Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in Tripoli and Benghazi in support of General Haftar's "Dignity" operation. Libya's Grand Mufti issued a statement calling Haftar's campaign against Ansar al Sharia and other Islamist militias "horrible" and "a coup." The International Criminal Court demanded the handover of Saif al Islam, the son of former dictator Muammar Ghaddafi, on the grounds that he could not receive a fair trial in Libya.
Ansar al Sharia vowed to defend "our city [Benghazi] and our land," claiming that the assault by General Haftar's forces was "a war against ... Islam orchestrated by the United States and its Arab allies." Libya's Interior Ministry and the country's UN ambassador added their backing to Haftar's forces. Four large explosions were heard as missiles hit Tripoli residential areas. The women's unit at a Derna hospital was attacked. The Dahra oilfield pipeline was set on fire. Gunmen tried to assassinate Libya's naval commander. The Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room told its forces to desert the army and not to support General Haftar.
Wanis Bukhamada, the head of special forces in Benghazi, said his forces are allied with General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army in fighting against Islamists; commanders of the Cyrenaenica federalists and the Tobruk air force base made similar statements. Haftar's forces claimed to have suspended the GNC. The Islamist-leaning GNC head Nouri Abu Sahmein ordered hardline Islamist forces to Tripoli to fight Haftar's forces. The al Qaeda-linked Lions of Monotheism group vowed to help Ansar al Sharia battle Haftar's forces. A 40-kilogram bomb was found near Benghazi's Benina airport. Saudi Arabia pulled its diplomatic staff from Tripoli, where fighting has spread. Authorities deported 161 Egyptians with fake entry visas.
Gunmen loyal to retired General Khalifa Haftar stormed the GNC. Fighting in Benghazi between Islamist militants and Haftar's Libyan National Army left scores of people dead and wounded. The army announced a no-fly zone over Benghazi, reportedly to prevent Haftar's forces from using air power against Islamists there. A bomb destroyed Ansar al Sharia's radio station in Benghazi. The violence has caused the closure of Benghazi airport.
At least 12 people were killed and over 50 injured in clashes in Benghazi after Libyan irregular forces shelled bases of Ansar al Sharia and another Islamist group. Yesterday in Benghazi, gunmen assassinated two special forces members and an imam described as moderate. Ansar al Sharia eulogized him as "a great symbol among the symbols of jihad." In Derna, assailants forced a constitutional assembly candidate from her car and drove off with it. A bomb damaged the Ajdabiya courthouse. The government agreed to pay 25% of this year's Haj expenses for 8,000 Libyans.
Gunmen abducted 250 Egyptian drivers, taking them to Ajdabiya, where they are being held as their captors demand the release of Libyan convicts from prison in Cairo. Clashes in Sebha left one person dead and 12 injured. In the second such incident in a week, a historic tomb was bombed in Derna. The port in Sirte shut down indefinitely due to repeated attacks and the absence of security forces.