Results tagged “Libya”

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The Libyan military and the secular militia forces of Major General Khalifa Hafter conducted raids on the homes of Islamist militia leaders in Benghazi on Oct. 23, resulting in 29 deaths. An estimated 149 have died during fighting in the last week. According to one report, the Libyan Army met little resistance when it first entered the city on Oct. 22 and was welcomed by "cheers and applause by citizens in the al-Wahaishi and al-Salam neighborhoods." Meanwhile, Libya's newly appointed foreign minister has urged a diplomatic solution to the confrontation between Islamist militias and elected officials in Tripoli.

Libyan Army troops and militia forces under retired Major General Khalifa Haftar moved to retake Benghazi for the first time in two months. A special forces brigade and a tank brigade are meeting resistance from Islamist forces in the western portion of the city. The Libya Herald reported that Mohammed Al-Zahawi, leader of Ansar al-Sharia, "almost certainly" died last Thursday from wounds received in an earlier airstrike, though Ansar al Sharia has made no confirmation. A US State Department spokesperson urged Libyans to rein in militias and engage in political dialogue, stating "there's no military solution to Libya's problems."

Libyan government forces allied with rebel militia forces under General Khalifa Haftar are mounting an offensive to retake Tripoli from Islamist forces that captured the capital in August. On Oct. 21, Libyan special forces halted an offensive by Islamist militias aiming to take the airport in the city of Benina.

Sources said that Ansar al Sharia's leader for Benghazi, Mohammed al Zahawi, was wounded or killed in recent clashes at Benina Airport and has been taken to a Sirte hospital. The Islamic State is reportedly planning to start broadcasting from a TV station based in Sirte. Suspected Islamist gunmen vandalized a historic Sufi madrassa in Tripoli. The UN said 100,000 people have been displaced in recent weeks due to fighting near Tripoli.

Mohammed Al Zahawi, the commander of Ansar al Sharia in Benghazi, claimed that the city will soon be completely under the control of the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shoura Council. An explosion outside a Benghazi hotel killed a man and wounded two others. Pro-government Zintani forces accused Libya Dawn of bombing a key bridge between Jebel Nafusa and Aziziya.

Operation Dignity bombed and sank a ship that was attempting to enter the port of Benghazi, after repeated previous warnings that any ship attempting to resupply the Benghazi Revolutionaries' Shoura Council would be bombed. Suspected extremists gunned down a popular radio DJ in Benghazi; it is the sixth assassination in the city in the past two days. The Islamic State recently announced the deaths of three Libyans killed in Syria while fighting for the terrorist organization.

The Shoura Council of Islamic Youth, a Derna-based Islamist group, declared its support for the Islamic State and its allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as caliph. In fighting over the past two days, 14 soldiers from Operation Dignity were killed and over 50 wounded trying to repel the advance of Ansar al Sharia on Benina Airbase in Benghazi. A senior foreign ministry officer was assassinated in Benghazi; not one person has been arrested for any of the over 100 murders that have been carried out in Benghazi over the past year or more. Benghazi's Jalal Hospital closed after clashes between Ansar al Sharia and local residents trying to evict the group. A British teacher kidnapped in Benghazi and held hostage for four months by the "Army of Islam" was released.

A double suicide car bombing attack on Saiqa special forces and Operation Dignity troops at Benghazi's Benina airbase has killed at least 12 people and wounded 60. Islamists also killed four troops in a separate clash in the city. The Rafallah Al-Sahati Brigade, which is part of the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shoura Council and closely linked to Ansar al Sharia, has indicated support for the Benina attack. Grand Mufti Ghariani urged Islamist forces in Benghazi and Sebha to crush "outlaws" with "an iron fist." Murders continued in Benghazi. Militants in Ajdabiya released 30 Egyptian truckers who had been held hostage while their captors demanded the release of three Libyans jailed in Egypt for weapons smuggling.

A man was killed and three people were wounded in clashes that erupted after Benghazi residents attacked an Ansar al Sharia checkpoint. At least 13 people have been killed in three days of clashes between the Awlad Suleiman and Qaddadfa tribes in Sebha. Fighting in Derna between militants from the Ansar al Sharia-linked Abu Slim Martyrs Brigade and the Islamic State-linked Council of Islamic Youth killed 12 people last week; unknown assailants also killed a female security officer in the city.

At least five people were killed in clashes between the Islamist Libya Dawn forces and the Libyan national army in Tripoli. A retired security officer was murdered in Benghazi, where 30 people were assassinated last week. An Operation Dignity commander said the Islamic State is controlling Ansar al Sharia, the Revolutionary Council in Benghazi, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, and accused Tripoli's mayor of bringing in foreign fighters with the help of Turkey, Qatar, and Sudan; the commander alleged that convoys of fighters from Yemen are coming into the Libya via Sudan. A prominent writer who had been kidnapped by Islamists was released. Militants in Ajdabiya are holding 30 Egyptian drivers and their trucks hostage, demanding the release of a Libyan on trial in Egypt for smuggling weapons between Egypt and Libya. Grand Mufti Ghariani ordered an end to the UN-sponsored dialogue between the Parliament and the rival Islamist government headed by Omar al Hassi.

Militants in Benghazi have conducted a number of assassinations over the past few days, killing eight people yesterday alone, and kidnapping a Ukrainian anaesthetist and his wife. Fighting between rival Islamist groups in Derna killed six people. The property of the new Interior Minister was torched in Tripoli and Misrata. The rival government headed by Omer Al Hassi appointed 10 ministers. Operation Dignity carried out airstrikes on the port in Benghazi used by Majlis al-Shura, the name for the group of Islamist forces in the city.

An angry crowd shot and killed an Ansar al Sharia gunman who had assassinated an army colonel in Benghazi. A prominent Benghazi blogger was killed on Sept. 20. The Libyan Judges' Association denounced the recent spike in Benghazi murders. Libya Dawn forces attacked Zahra Hospital. The rival Hassi government seized the Oil Ministry. A small bomb damaged a car near the Constitutional Drafting Committee in Beida. Prime Minister al Thinni's Cabinet was approved.

Zintanis blockaded by Islamist Libya Dawn forces battled militias near Gharian. Tebus in Obari repelled advances by a non-local Tuareg militia, said to be the same one that was asked by Libya Dawn to take over Sharara oilfield last month. Salah Benali, a leader of the Derna militia Shoura Council of Islamic Youth, was killed while fighting with Islamist forces in Benghazi on Sept. 16. The head of the UN Support Mission in Libya said only "a small window of opportunity" remained for a peaceful resolution to the crisis in Libya. The Parliament rejected Prime Minister al Thinni's proposed Cabinet.

Shaaban Hadia Al-Zawi a.k.a. Abu Obeida, head of the Islamist militia Libyan Revolutionaries Operation Room, was captured by Warshefana forces near Tripoli during clashes that injured him and killed two of his commanders. Two young relatives of Libya's ambassador to the UK were kidnapped from their Tripoli home. Operation Dignity threatened to bomb any ship approaching the port of Benghazi as it is being used for shipments of arms to Islamist militias. At least six Operation Dignity soldiers and 13 Ansar al Sharia fighters were killed in clashes in Benghazi near the Benina Airport. A member of the Libyan Army was murdered in Benghazi. An airstrike destroyed an Islamist munitions depot in Ghariyan. While Libya's UN ambassador repeated accusations that Qatar and Sudan have been sending arms to the Islamist Libya Dawn forces, Qatar and Sudan denied the accusations.

The Parliament fired the Central Bank governor and said the Grand Mufti will be sacked soon. Prime Minister al Thinni accused Qatar of sending three military planes laden with weapons for the Islamist coalition Libya Dawn to Mitiga Airport. Libya has also accused Sudan of sending a plane with supplies for Libya Dawn, but it was intercepted. The US said everyone should support the elected government, the Parliament. Egypt's prime minister said the Islamic State and Ansar al Sharia are ideologically linked and have the same vision.

Islamist Libya Dawn forces continued their onslaught in Warshefana, raining down 350 rockets yesterday in a barrage that killed 38 people and wounded over 80. The area is now besieged, as residents fear leaving their homes due to shelling, and roads have been blocked by Libya Dawn forces; Warshefana forces defending the area are outnumbered three to one.

Grand Mufti al Ghariani appeared at a pro-Libya Dawn demonstration in Tripoli, after returning from several months in London and a stopover in Qatar; British authorities were reportedly planning to arrest him for inciting violence and murder. Three men were murdered in Benghazi; Islamist forces are suspected. Local residents in Benghazi repelled Ansar al Sharia gunmen who were trying to take over a civil defense center.

Forces from the Islamist Libya Dawn coalition are said to be bulldozing homes in the Warshefana area, where clashes are ongoing. As Operation Dignity forces backed by Tebu and Arab militias are preparing an assault on Islamist positions in Benghazi, the forces of Ansar al Sharia and Benghazi's Revolutionary Shura Council are said to be withdrawing. Mohamed "Bouka" Al Araibi, a commander of a Brega militia linked to the Revolutionary Shura Council, was wounded by an airstrike in Benghazi. The Parliament sacked the ambassadors to Jordan and Turkey because they have shown allegiance to the rival former GNC, now headed by Omar al Hassi, who moved into the prime minister's office in Tripoli after Libya Dawn took it over.

Islamist militias continued their onslaught in Warshefana in an attempt to capture it; at least 43 people, mainly civilians, have been killed by shelling since Sept. 7. Operation Dignity urged militiamen in Benghazi to turn in their weapons, saying terrorists and criminals from the world over have been drawn to the city. Tebu and Arab militiamen are heading to Benghazi to back up Operation Dignity forces. Ansar al Sharia arrested four Syrians and a Palestinian in Sirte accused of forging Libyan banknotes. A female civilian who had worked in domestic intelligence under the Ghaddafi regime was shot dead while shopping in Derna. France warned that Libya's south is a "hub for terrorist groups."

The commander of the Benghazi-based Omar Mukhatr Brigade, which has been allied with Ansar al Sharia, February 17 Brigade, and Libya Shield, escaped an assassination attempt with serious injuries. A leading lawyer was kidnapped from a Tripoli courtroom last week. Thirty Libyan Army cadets left their training in the UK after roughing up a British Army officer. The travel of young Libyans to join the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is facilitated by Libyan recruiting networks, which face no official obstacles.