Results tagged “Libya”
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A female US embassy employee who was kidnapped and injured by gunfire managed to escape her captors. A Tunisian diplomat was reportedly kidnapped in Tripoli. Ansar al Sharia member Mohamed Mahlaz Shawaihdy was killed on April 14 in Benghazi; a large contingent of Ansar al Sharia members visited the hospital where his body was brought. A Benghazi candidate for election survived a murder attempt on April 15. One man was murdered and another injured in separate drive-by shootings in Benghazi. A Sebha councilman was murdered. Kidnappers holding the Jordanian ambassador are seeking the release of Mohamed Dersi, a Libyan member of al Qaeda serving a life term for plotting to blow up a Jordanian airport.
Masked gunmen in Tripoli kidnapped Jordan's ambassador, Fawaz al Itan, and shot his driver; the kidnappers are said to be demanding the release of Libyans imprisoned in Jordan. The Interior Ministry plans to step up security in Benghazi and Tripoli. The trial of Saif and Saadi Ghaddafi and 35 other former regime officials was postponed until April 27 as 14 of the defendants were absent.
Wanted terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar has reportedly taken refuge in Libya, where he continues to plan attacks across the Sahel region. Newly appointed Prime Minister al Thinni announced his resignation after gunmen attacked his house last night and stole his car, but he agreed to serve until the GNC names his replacement. In Tripoli, two prisoners, a Libyan and a foreigner, were killed during an attempted jailbreak on April 11; the day before, 10 prisoners escaped. Protesters have begun blockading Zawia oil terminal. A Misratan militia has seized the Sebha airport and military barracks from another militia. Noting security challenges for US officials in Libya, the US Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary said recently that "[i]t's very difficult to move around within Tripoli, much less beyond Tripoli."
Benghazi residents protested ongoing insecurity, after an Air Force officer was assassinated and his family severely injured in a recent car bombing. Sufian Ben Qumu, a leader of the al Qaeda-linked Ansar al Sharia, reportedly appears on Libyan TV from Derna. An armed group helped 10 prisoners escape in Tripoli. Reports have emerged that al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood are forming a Free Egyptian Army in Libya.
The body of Ali Abdallah Bin Taher a.k.a. al Far, reportedly a top aide to Ansar al Sharia leader Sufian Ben Qumu, was found yesterday in Derna; a new intelligence agency in the city claimed to have assassinated him. Another report said there was Islamist infighting in Derna, and claimed that al Far was a leader of the newly formed Shura Council of Islamic Youth in Derna, as well as a leader of the Army of the Islamic State of Libya; the report said the Shura Council of Islamic Youth had recently merged with a group of local Ansar al Sharia supporters and another group headed by ex-Gitmo detainee Ben Qumu. Last month Ali al Draiwi a.k.a. Abu Dher al Libi, another aide to Ben Qumu, was killed in Derna. In Benghazi, a former education official was killed, a backpack bomb damaged a girls' school, and a car bomb blew up several cars. Abdullah Al-Thinni was appointed Prime Minister to replace Ali Zeidan.
Protesters blocked roads in Tripoli, in solidarity with demonstrators conducting a general strike in Benghazi to protest the government's failure to provide security. Hashim Bishr, the former Supreme Security Council head who now works with the Ministry of the Interior, denounced the March 4 siege on the Prime Minister's office, in which four Army vehicles were stolen. Derna University closed indefinitely after men vandalized three medical laboratories last week, and a new armed Islamist group, the Islamic Youth Shurah Council in Derna, showed up two days ago claiming it would take over the city.
A new Islamic group, the "Muslim youth council of Shurah," said it is sending troops to Derna to establish peace and impose sharia law. Benghazi closed down in a general strike to protest the government's failure to address insecurity in the city, where hundreds of security force members were individually assassinated over the past year. A security official in Sebha was shot dead, purportedly by accident. Three bodies found near Ghat are thought to be those of soldiers kidnapped last year. The Morning Glory, which illegally loaded oil last month, unloaded its 230,000 barrels of oil at the Zawia refinery.
Libyan gunmen seized 150 Egyptian trucks and their drivers and are holding them near Ajdabiya, reportedly in protest against Egypt's imposition of a life sentence on a Libyan smuggler. About 40 masked gunmen gathered outside the Prime Minister's office yesterday. On March 3, a special forces officer was murdered in Benghazi and a Derna security official survived an attack by gunmen. At least 26 security force members were killed in Benghazi last month. Seven bodies were found in a mass grave in Tawergha.
The bodies of three men thought to be crew members from an Air Force helicopter that went missing after takeoff in Sidra on Feb. 12 were found in a makeshift grave outside Sirte. The body of the pilot was found near Brega on March 23 and the co-pilot's body was found near Sirte five days ago. Benghazi residents are concerned about the proliferation of unregulated extremist Koranic schools in Libya.