Results tagged “Libya”
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Islamist gunmen attacked Benghazi's port after the forces of Khalid Haftar's "Operation Dignity" bombed two ships that were carrying weapons to Derna, destroying one of them. The weapons, from Misrata, were said to be destined for the Ansar al Sharia-linked February 17 Brigade. Haftar's forces continued to bomb Islamist targets in Benghazi, and claimed that Ansar al Sharia and allied groups fired rockets at Tobruk Airbase and Benina Airport. The Supreme Council of Libyan Revolutionaries (SCLR) vowed to stay in Benghazi and called for armed groups, including the Libya Shield brigades and the Libyan Revolutionaries' Operation Room (LROR), to join forces with Libya Shield No. 1 Brigade, 17 February Brigade, the Omar Mukhtar Brigade, and Ansar al Sharia in the fight against Haftar's forces. The SCLR also urged LROR and Libya Shield to begin taking over oilfields.
The Justice Ministry demanded that the US turn over Ahmed Abu Khattalah a.k.a. Ahmed Bukhatallah, an Ansar al Sharia leader linked to the Sept. 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi. Khalid Aftar's "Operation Dignity" denied any knowledge of or involvement in the US' capture of Khattalah. A plane carrying the constitutional delegation to a meeting in Kufra made an emergency landing at an oilfield airstrip after a caller threatened that the plane would be shot down if it tried to land at Kufra airport. Haftar's forces bombed the Teka airstrip, 20 kilometres west of Benghazi, on June 15 to prevent Islamist forces from flying in weapons and ammunition.
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.