Middle East Public date: 24.08.2017 23:12:18

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16 Dec 2015

Libya’s cultural heritage ‘being destroyed and plundered by Isis’

Isis extremists have destroyed temples and ancient sites in Iraq and Syria, and experts believe they are also selling plundered antiquities on the illegal market. Isis has also made inroads across Libya, which is split between rival governments and plagued by weapons smuggling, people smuggling and extremism.
Isis extremists have destroyed temples and ancient sites in Iraq and Syria, and experts believe they are also selling...

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15 Jun 2015

Libya says former al-Qaeda leader killed in US strike

Libya's recognised government says that the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Algeria, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has been killed in a coordinated attack with the US. Earlier on Sunday, the US Department of Defence said the US military conducted a counterterrorism strike against an al-Qaeda-associated target in Libya on Saturday night, but were assessing results before providing more details.
Libya's recognised government says that the leader of an al-Qaeda-linked group in Algeria, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has been...

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21 May 2015

Libyan army troops killed in push for Benghazi

At least 19 Libyan army soldiers have been killed and dozens of others injured after the UN-recognised government launched a new offensive in a bid to retake the eastern city of Benghazi, officials say. The North African nation is split is between an elected parliament and weak government, which was forced to relocate from Tripoli to the far eastern cities of Tobruk and Bayda, and a rival government and parliament in Tripoli set up by a group of armed groups.
At least 19 Libyan army soldiers have been killed and dozens of others injured after the UN-recognised government...

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19 May 2015

‘No one can win this war’

The country is split between the exiled internationally recognised government, the House of Representatives (HOR), led by Abdullah al-Thinni in Tobruk and Beida and backed by Egypt and the UAE, and the Tripoli-based General National Council (GNC), supported by Turkey and Qatar, and headed by caretaker Prime Minister Khalifa Ghweil after last month's removal of Omar al-Hassi.  "No one can win this war, Libyans have to know this. So they need to stop this bloodshed," Fathi Bashaagha, a prominent Misratan businessman participating in the talks, told Al Jazeera
The country is split between the exiled internationally recognised government, the House of Representatives (HOR), led...

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20 Mar 2015

Libya army chief warns of ISIL threat against Europe

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya will inflitrate Europe if the West fails to support Libyan forces with arms and ammunition, a top Libyan army officer has said. General Khalifa Haftar, the army chief of Libya's internationally recognised government, said ISIL had seized control of at least two cities along Libya's long Mediterranean coastline and has a strong presence in several others, its first major expansion from its bases in Syria and Iraq.
Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Libya will inflitrate Europe if the West fails to support Libyan...

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19 Mar 2015

ISIL fighters enter the fray in Lybia

A new battlefront in Libya emerged last weekend, when fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) clashed with armed groups from the city of Misrata loyal to the Islamist "Libya Dawn" alliance.
A new battlefront in Libya emerged last weekend, when fighters loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)...
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24 Feb 2015

Islamic State Advance in Libya Could Present Threat to Europe

Rival militias in Libya have thrown the country into civil war and made it easy prey for the Islamic State. The recent execution of 21 Egyptian Christians is only one sign of the terrorist group's growing footprint in North Africa.
Rival militias in Libya have thrown the country into civil war and made it easy prey for the Islamic State. The recent...
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18 Feb 2015

Tripoli-backed fighters sent to Sirte to confront ISIL

Libya's legally installed government has sent fighters to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern city of Sirte. Sources told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that the Tripoli-based government deployed Misrata's 166 battalion, backed by rebels, to tackle ISIL in Sirte. The battalion's commander said that the operation involved taking back key buildings and state institutions.
Libya's legally installed government has sent fighters to confront the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in...
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16 Feb 2015

ISIL video shows Christian Egyptians beheaded in Libya

Fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have released a video purporting to show the killing of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians kidnapped in Libya. The Egyptian government and the Coptic Church confirmed the authenticity of the footage, released on Sunday. It showed the Egyptian workers, all wearing orange jump suits, being beheaded near a waterfront said to be located in the Libyan province of Tripoli.
Fighters pledging allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have released a video purporting to show...
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22 Jan 2015

Libyan Fighters Seize Benghazi Branch of Central Bank

Fighters for one of the factions battling for control of Libya seized the Benghazi branch of the country s central bank on Thursday, threatening to set off an armed scramble for the bank s vast stores of money and gold, and cripple one of the last functioning institutions in the country.
Fighters for one of the factions battling for control of Libya seized the Benghazi branch of the country s central bank...

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19 Jan 2015

Libyan government army declares ceasefire

Libya's internationally recognised government has declared a ceasefire, with UN-brokered peace talks set to resume in Geneva next week. Sunday's announcement by the Tobruk-based government, operating out of the east of the country, came two days after rival factions agreed to a truce
Libya's internationally recognised government has declared a ceasefire, with UN-brokered peace talks set to resume in...
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29 Dec 2014

First air strikes hit Libyan city of Misrata

Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government have for the first time carried out air strikes on targets in the third largest city of Misrata, which is allied to an armed group that seized the capital in the summer. The internationally recognised Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has been forced to run a rump state in the east since a group known as the Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) took control of Tripoli in August, setting up a rival government and parliament.
Forces loyal to Libya's internationally recognised government have for the first time carried out air strikes on targets...

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24 Nov 2014

Unidentified jet strikes Libya airport

At least one unidentified jet has carried out an air strike, targeting Mitiga International airport in the Libyan capital Tripoli, witnesses and local media have said. The extent of damage of Monday's attack was not immediately clear. The airport is under the control of Fajr Libya (Libya Dawn) militia group that installed a parallel authority over the summer in Tripoli to the elected government sitting in the eastern city of Tobruk.
At least one unidentified jet has carried out an air strike, targeting Mitiga International airport in the Libyan...

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19 Nov 2014

Temporary truce declared in Libya’s Benghazi

The UN says pro-government forces and armed Islamist groups fighting for control of Libya's second city Benghazi have agreed to a 12-hour humanitarian truce. The UN-brokered ceasefire, approved on Wednesday, was the first in Benghazi since the launch of a government-backed offensive to recapture the eastern city from fighters a month ago. However, there were early signs that the truce was not being fully respected. AFP news agency reported heavy weapons fire in the city, although its origin was unknown.
The UN says pro-government forces and armed Islamist groups fighting for control of Libya's second city Benghazi have...

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13 Nov 2014

Embassies of Egypt and UAE attacked in Libya

Two car bombs have struck near the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Libya's militia-controlled capital Tripoli, according to multiple sources. Two guards posted outside the empty Egyptian embassy compound were wounded in Thursday's first blast, Libya's LANA news agency reported. Three more posted outside the empty UAE compound were wounded in the second, a senior UAE official told AFP in Abu Dhabi.
Two car bombs have struck near the Egyptian and United Arab Emirates embassies in Libya's militia-controlled capital...
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20 Oct 2014

Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khatallah pleads not guilty to 17 new charges

Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a Libyan militant accused of participating in the September 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, pleaded not guilty on Monday to 17 new charges related to the attack, including some that carry the death penalty.
Ahmed Abu Khatallah, a Libyan militant accused of participating in the September 2012 attack on the US diplomatic...
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30 Aug 2014

Why is the United Arab Emirates secretly bombing Libya?

The United Arab Emirates, a small wealthy Gulf state, has been secretly bombing targets in Libya, from bases in Egypt without the knowledge of the US. We explain how the raids reflect new rivalries in the region and are likely to trigger new strains between the west and its increasingly assertive Arab allies
The United Arab Emirates, a small wealthy Gulf state, has been secretly bombing targets in Libya, from bases in Egypt...

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3 Aug 2014

Libya violence escalates with 22 killed in battle for Tripoli airport

Libya s interim government says a day of militia fighting for control of the international airport in the capital Tripoli has killed 22 people. In a statement early Sunday, it said "heavily armed groups" have shelled "civilian targets" endangering thousands of citizens and leaving hundreds of families displaced. The 22 people were killed on Saturday alone, the latest casualties in fighting that has claimed more than 200 lives in recent weeks.
Libya s interim government says a day of militia fighting for control of the international airport in the capital...

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13 Jul 2014

Libya airport hit by heavy fighting between militias

Heavy fighting between militias with anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled grenades has broken out near the airport of the Libyan capital, Tripoli. An airport official said rockets had struck inside the airport perimeter at about 6am local time, interrupting flights. "Clashes followed between the Zintan militia who control the airport and rivals who want to drive them out," the official added.
Heavy fighting between militias with anti-aircraft guns and rocket-propelled grenades has broken out near the airport of...

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6 Jul 2014

Why elections won’t save Libya

On June 25, Libyans went to the polls to elect a new 200-seat Council of Deputies that would replace the General National Congress. Three years after Libya s revolution overthrew Muammar Gaddafi s regime, the country s security continues to deteriorate, and its economy has been crippled by endless protests at its oil facilities. The ruling Congress, whose mandate expired in February but which has continued to limp along until these latest elections, became so dysfunctional that many of its members simply stopped attending meetings. Most Libyans feel their politicians have failed to deliver basic government. As such, many hoped the elections would offer the promise of a much-needed new start and help salvage the country s ailing transition.
On June 25, Libyans went to the polls to elect a new 200-seat Council of Deputies that would replace the General...

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2 Jul 2014

Benghazi suspect’s lawyer criticises ‘utter lack of evidence’ over charges

Prosecutors seeking to connect Ahmed Abu Khatallah to the Benghazi attack that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens have been sharply criticised by defence lawyers for failing to share their alleged evidence of his involvement in the incident. Khatallah was captured by US special forces last month in a raid that critics have suggested was designed partially to deflect criticism of the administration's handling of the deadly 2012 attack on the diplomatic compound, which has become a cause c l bre among Republicans
Prosecutors seeking to connect Ahmed Abu Khatallah to the Benghazi attack that killed US ambassador Chris Stevens have...
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18 Jun 2014

Apprehension of Ahmed Abu Khattala May Begin to Answer Questions on Assault

Ahmed Abu Khattala was always open about his animosity toward the United States, and even about his conviction that Muslims and Christians were locked in an intractable religious war. "There is always hostility between the religions," he said in an interview. "That is the nature of religions." During the assault on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, Mr. Abu Khattala was a flamboyant presence. Witnesses saw him directing the swarming attackers who ultimately killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans
Ahmed Abu Khattala was always open about his animosity toward the United States, and even about his conviction that...

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23 May 2014

Khalifa Haftar renegade general causing upheaval in Libya

Under clear desert skies and a sweltering sun, a team of CIA trainers put the Libyan exile commander through his paces, teaching sabotage and tactics to his small band of fighters. Back then, in the 1980s, they dreamed of the day they could go home and topple Muammar Gaddafi. Khalifa Heftar's offensive against the government that replaced Gaddafi which he accuses of being a haven for terrorists has been far more successful. It has seen him attack Islamist militias in Benghazi and the parliament in Tripoli. In less then a week key army units, political parties and tribal forces have rallied under his banner.
Under clear desert skies and a sweltering sun, a team of CIA trainers put the Libyan exile commander through his paces,...

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19 May 2014

Ex-General Claims Responsibility for Libyan Parliament Attack

A retired Libyan general claimed responsibility for an attack on the Parliament building here on Sunday, two days after his irregular force launched an attack aimed at eradicating powerful Islamist militias from the eastern city of Benghazi.
A retired Libyan general claimed responsibility for an attack on the Parliament building here on Sunday, two days after...

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16 May 2014

Heavy fighting breaks out in Libya as troops storm militias in Benghazi

The heaviest fighting in Libya since the Arab spring revolution broke out in the eastern capital of Benghazi on Friday as forces led by a retired general attacked militias on the ground and with jets. Air strikes pounded militia bases at dawn and 6,000 troops converged on the city, storming a series of bases and checkpoints. Eyewitnesses described a city in chaos, with jets streaking low over rooftops, tanks on the streets, heavy detonations and aggressive fighting.
The heaviest fighting in Libya since the Arab spring revolution broke out in the eastern capital of Benghazi on Friday...

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14 Apr 2014

Gaddafi sons’ war crimes trial begins in Libya amid security fears

The war crimes trial of two sons of Libya's former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, begins amid tight security in Tripoli on Monday, in a case causing sensation at home and controversy among rights groups. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi and his younger brother, Saadi, are accused of orchestrating a campaign of murder, torture and bombardment of civilians during Libya's eight-month civil war in 2011.
The war crimes trial of two sons of Libya's former dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, begins amid tight security in Tripoli on...

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24 Mar 2014

Libya is a disaster we helped create. The west must take responsibility

Today's Libya is overrun by militias and faces a deteriorating human rights situation, mounting chaos that is infecting other countries, growing internal splits, and even the threat of civil war. Only occasionally does this growing crisis creep into the headlines: like when an oil tanker is seized by rebellious militia; or when a British oil worker is shot dead while having a picnic; or when the country's prime minister is kidnapped.
Today's Libya is overrun by militias and faces a deteriorating human rights situation, mounting chaos that is infecting...

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27 Jan 2014

The macabre sex chamber of Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi where he raped girls – and boys – as young as 14

Gaddafi s modus operandi was to tour schools and universities where female students were invited to his lectures. As he spoke before his hushed audience, he would silently scan the room seeking out attractive girls. Before leaving he would pat those he had selected on the head. Within hours his private bodyguards would round up those chosen and kidnap them. If their families tried to keep them from Gaddafi s clutches, they were gunned down.
Gaddafi s modus operandi was to tour schools and universities where female students were invited to his lectures. As he...
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6 May 2013

Libya bans ex-Gaddafi officials from office

Libya's parliament has voted to ban anyone who held a senior position during Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule from government, a move which could unseat the prime minister and other top officials regardless of their part in toppling the dictator. Politicians debated the draft law for months, but the issue came to a head this week when heavily armed groups took control of two ministries and stormed other institutions including the state broadcaster.
Libya's parliament has voted to ban anyone who held a senior position during Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule from...

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2 May 2013

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi appears in Libyan court charged with plotting escape

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has appeared in court accused of plotting to escape from the jail in which he has been held since he was arrested in November 2011. Libya accuses Gaddafi of conspiring to break out of his detention, in the western mountain town of Zintan, aided by a lawyer from the international criminal court (ICC), Melinda Taylor, who was herself detained by Libya for three weeks last summer.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of Libya's former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has appeared in court accused of plotting to...
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19 Apr 2013

French inquiry opens into allegations Gaddafi funded Sarkozy 2007 campaign

French prosecutors have opened a judicial investigation into allegations that Nicolas Sarkozy's successful 2007 election campaign received illicit funding from the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. The inquiry does not name anyone as a suspect, and centres on claims of corruption, influence trafficking, forgery, abuse of public funds and money-laundering
French prosecutors have opened a judicial investigation into allegations that Nicolas Sarkozy's successful 2007 election...
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20 Feb 2013

Two years after Gadhafi overthrow, Libya is still going nowhere

Benghazi's celebrations for the second anniversary of the revolution that overthrew - and killed - Muammar Gadhafi offered an extra dose of energy. Among the thousands of revelers in the city where the revolution started, people loudly demanded that the Benghazi region have its own government and autonomous economy.
Benghazi's celebrations for the second anniversary of the revolution that overthrew - and killed - Muammar Gadhafi...

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17 Jan 2013

Saif al-Islam in Libyan court for first time

Saif al-Isam, son of Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan leader, has appeared in a court for the first time since his capture last year. According to the Libyan public prosecutor, the younger Gaddafi appeared in a court in the western town of Zintan, where he is facing charges related to a visit by an International Criminal Court (ICC) lawyer last year.
Saif al-Isam, son of Muammar Gaddafi, former Libyan leader, has appeared in a court for the first time since his capture...

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8 Dec 2012

Libyan Women Losing Rights

When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a "good-guy/bad-guy" dichotomy, hyping dubious claims about Gaddafi and ignoring troubling extremism among the rebels. Now, the new Libya is clamping down on women s rights, says Lawrence Davidson.
When rebels challenged Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the West and its media adopted a "good-guy/bad-guy"...

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22 Nov 2012

Benghazi Security Director Is Assassinated, Libyan Official Says

A senior Libyan security official was assassinated outside his home in the eastern city of Benghazi, officials said Wednesday, the same city where the United States ambassador and three other Americans were killed at their diplomatic compound in September. The Libyan official s death was the latest in a series of mysterious killings that have raised fears about the country s precarious postwar security.
A senior Libyan security official was assassinated outside his home in the eastern city of Benghazi, officials said...

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30 Oct 2012

No Specific Warnings in Benghazi Attack

Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack s aftermath such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials.
Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking...

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23 Oct 2012

Deadly fighting rages in Libya’s Bani Walid

At least three people have been killed and seven more injured in fighting in the northern Libyan town of Bani Walid. The casualties come as clashes continue in the town of 85,000 residents, a former stronghold of ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi. Libyan soldiers have been fighting Gaddafi loyalists in the beseiged town for more than three weeks. But troops blame officials for not providing enough equipment or supplies to win the battle.
At least three people have been killed and seven more injured in fighting in the northern Libyan town of Bani Walid. The...

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19 Oct 2012

Suspect in Benghazi Attack Scoffs at U.S.

Witnesses and the authorities have called Ahmed Abu Khattala one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attack on the American diplomatic mission here. But just days after President Obama reasserted his vow to bring those responsible to justice, Mr. Abu Khattala spent two leisurely hours on Thursday evening at a crowded luxury hotel, sipping mango juice on a patio overlooking the Mediterranean and scoffing at the threats coming from the American and Libyan governments.
Witnesses and the authorities have called Ahmed Abu Khattala one of the ringleaders of the Sept. 11 attack on the...

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17 Oct 2012

Hunted: A first-hand account of Gaddafi’s desperate last days

On Aug. 28, 2011, Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi and two of his sons fled the capital city of Tripoli, which after months of bitter fighting was finally succumbing to rebel advances. One of his sons, Khamis, was killed within a day, possibly by a NATO airstrike. Another, Saif al-Islam, made it to the town of Bani Walid, but in November fell into rebel hands. Moammar Gaddafi, who had ruled Libya for more than four decades, set out east for Sirte, his hometown. He had less than two months to live.
On Aug. 28, 2011, Libyan dictator Moammar Gaddafi and two of his sons fled the capital city of Tripoli, which after...
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10 Oct 2012

Gaddafi lawyers fear ‘revenge’ trial in Libya

The lawyer for the son and one-time heir-apparent of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has given warning that the International Criminal Court's reputation will be damaged if it allows Libya to put him on trial. Melinda Taylor, one of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's court-funded defence lawyers, told judges at The Netherlands on Wednesday that any trial in Libya will be "not motivated by a desire for justice but a desire for revenge, and there is no right for revenge under international law."
The lawyer for the son and one-time heir-apparent of the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has given warning that the...

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24 Sep 2012

Attack in Libya Was Major Blow to C.I.A. Efforts

The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the Central Intelligence Agency a major setback in its intelligence-gathering efforts at a time of increasing instability in the North African nation.
The attack in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans has dealt the...

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22 Sep 2012

Libyan Protesters Besiege Militant Group in Benghazi

Galvanized by anger over the killing of the popular American ambassador here last week, thousands of Libyans marched through this city on Friday, demanding the disarming of the militias that helped topple the dictatorship but have troubled the country with their refusal to disband.
Galvanized by anger over the killing of the popular American ambassador here last week, thousands of Libyans marched...

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17 Sep 2012

Libyan parliamentary speaker hints at military strike after consulate attack

The president of Libya's parliament, Mohamed al-Magariaf, has said military action is being considered against militants blamed for the killing of the US ambassador Chris Stevens. Magariaf also confirmed reports from Washington that US officials intercepted communications discussing the planned attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, which he said linked al-Qaida in the Maghreb to an Islamist brigade, Ansar al-Sharia. "Yes, that happened," he said.
The president of Libya's parliament, Mohamed al-Magariaf, has said military action is being considered against militants...

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16 Sep 2012

Libya makes Benghazi attack arrests

Libyan authorities have arrested about 50 people in connection to the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which the US ambassador and three embassy staff were killed, Libya's parliamentary chief said. "The number reached about 50," Mohammed al-Megaryef, president of the Libyan National Congress, told CBS News in an interview on Sunday.
Libyan authorities have arrested about 50 people in connection to the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi in which...

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14 Sep 2012

Islamist militia braces for reprisals as Libyan anger mounts over US deaths

The black flag of the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia militia continued to flutter over its base in downtown Benghazi, but the garrison was nervous, braced for reprisals after the killing of the US ambassador to Libya on Tuesday night. Many in Benghazi say Sharia played a part in the storming of the US consulate that left four Americans dead.
The black flag of the Islamist Ansar al-Sharia militia continued to flutter over its base in downtown Benghazi, but the...

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11 Sep 2012

Libya militias storm US consulate over ‘insulting’ film

Militiamen in Libya have stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, the country's second largest city. Reports say they were protesting against a US-made film that is allegedly insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and set fire to the building. The building is said to have burnt down. It is thought nobody was in the consulate at the time.
Militiamen in Libya have stormed the US consulate in Benghazi, the country's second largest city. Reports say they were...

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5 Sep 2012

Mauritania sends Gaddafi spy chief to Libya

Mauritanian authorities have handed over Muammar Gaddafi's ex-spy chief to Libya nearly five months after he was arrested for entering the country illegally, state television reported. "Mauritanian authorities hand over ex-Libyan spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi to Libya," read a newsflash on the screen written in Arabic on Wednesday.
Mauritanian authorities have handed over Muammar Gaddafi's ex-spy chief to Libya nearly five months after he was...

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3 Sep 2012

The New Libya Searches for Justice

The search for justice in the new Libya is raising difficult questions about who is to blame for the atrocities of the Gadhafi era, such as the Abu Salim prison massacre. A unique experiment is taking place at one prison, where former inmates confront their torturers.
The search for justice in the new Libya is raising difficult questions about who is to blame for the atrocities of the...

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21 Aug 2012

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi faces trial in Libya

Libya will put deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son on trial, defying a demand by the international criminal court, the Libyan representative to The Hague court said on Monday. Ahmed al-Jehani said the trial of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi will begin next month. One possible venue is Zintan, a town in the western mountains, where he is being held
Libya will put deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son on trial, defying a demand by the international criminal court,...

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19 Aug 2012

Deadly car bombings strike Libya’s Tripoli

At least two people were killed when two car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan capital, the first lethal attack of its kind since Muammar Gaddafi's fall last year, security sources have said. Ambulances and firefighters rushed to the scenes of Sunday's dawn blasts, and large numbers of police cordoned off the sites before starting to remove the charred vehicles.
At least two people were killed when two car bombs exploded near interior ministry and security buildings in the Libyan...

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7 Jul 2012

Libya election High turnout in historic vote

Libyans have been voting in their first free national election for 60 years. They are selecting a temporary assembly which will have the task of picking a cabinet and a prime minister. Voting began late in some cities where gunmen disrupted voting, and one person was killed in a shooting close to a polling station in Ajdabiya.
Libyans have been voting in their first free national election for 60 years. They are selecting a temporary assembly...

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25 Jun 2012

Libya ex-PM Mahmoudi extradition from Tunisia ‘illegal’

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that his country's extradition of Libya's former Prime Minister al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi was "illegal". Mr Mahmoudi, 70, had fled to Tunisia during the uprising against Col Muammar Gaddafi last year. Mr Marzouki's office said in a statement that the decision to extradite Mr Mahmoudi was taken without consultation and without his agreement.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has said that his country's extradition of Libya's former Prime Minister al-Baghdadi...

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4 Jun 2012

Libyan government regains control of Tripoli airport

Libyan forces have regained control of the main airport in Tripoli, after an armed militia overran the runway demanding their leader's release. Dozens of the militiamen who drove armoured trucks onto the runway forcing flight diversions have been arrested, Libya's deputy interior minister said.
Libyan forces have regained control of the main airport in Tripoli, after an armed militia overran the runway demanding...

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9 May 2012

In Libya, the Captors Have Become the Captive

One night last September, a prisoner named Naji Najjar was brought, blindfolded and handcuffed, to an abandoned military base on the outskirts of Tripoli. A group of young men in camouflage pushed him into a dimly lit interrogation room and forced him to his knees. The commander of the militia, a big man with disheveled hair and sleepy eyes, stood behind Najjar. "What do you want?" the commander said, clutching a length of industrial pipe.
One night last September, a prisoner named Naji Najjar was brought, blindfolded and handcuffed, to an abandoned military...

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3 May 2012

Libya drops ban on religion-based parties

Libya has dropped a ban against political parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity, an official said, after the law angered Islamist parties in the run-up to the first free election in June. The ruling National Transitional Council's judicial committee read out on Wednesday a set of new laws, including an amended version of one governing formation of parties, making no mention of the ban, which was announced last week.
Libya has dropped a ban against political parties based on religion, tribe or ethnicity, an official said, after the law...

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30 Apr 2012

The massacre at Libya’s Khalat al-Farjan compound

A BBC journalist arrested and held by Muammar Gaddafi's forces during the Libya uprising has returned to the prison where he was held to track down some of the wardens and prisoners housed there and to hear first hand accounts of a massacre
A BBC journalist arrested and held by Muammar Gaddafi's forces during the Libya uprising has returned to the prison...

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18 Apr 2012

Jack Straw faces legal action over ‘rendition’

A Libyan military commander is taking legal action against Jack Straw, to find out if the ex-foreign secretary signed papers allowing his rendition. Abdel Hakim Belhadj claims CIA agents took him from Thailand to Gaddafi-led Libya, via UK-controlled Diego Garcia. His lawyers have served papers on Mr Straw after the Sunday Times reported claims that he allowed this to happen. UK ministers have denied any complicity in rendition or torture and Mr Straw did not comment further.
A Libyan military commander is taking legal action against Jack Straw, to find out if the ex-foreign secretary signed...

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15 Apr 2012

NATO Sees Flaws in Air Campaign Against Qaddafi

Despite widespread praise in Western capitals for NATO s leadership of the air campaign in Libya, a confidential NATO assessment paints a sobering portrait of the alliance s ability to carry out such campaigns without significant support from the United States.
Despite widespread praise in Western capitals for NATO s leadership of the air campaign in Libya, a confidential NATO...

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4 Apr 2012

Hague court demands transfer of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi

The International Criminal Court has rejected a Libyan request to delay the handover of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Muammar Gaddafi's most prominent son is being held by a militia from the town of Zintan at a secret location. In a ruling, the ICC said Libya must start making arrangements to hand him over to the war crimes court at The Hague immediately.
The International Criminal Court has rejected a Libyan request to delay the handover of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi. Muammar...

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3 Apr 2012

Libya Militias Turn to Politics, a Volatile Mix

The militia leaders who have turned post-Qaddafi Libya into a patchwork of semiautonomous fiefs are now plunging into politics, raising fears that their armed brigades could undermine elections intended to lay the foundation of a new democracy.
The militia leaders who have turned post-Qaddafi Libya into a patchwork of semiautonomous fiefs are now plunging into...

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1 Apr 2012

Scores dead in southern Libya tribal clashes

At least 147 people have been killed during a week of clashes between Toubou fighters and Arab tribespeople, the Libyan prime minister and defence minister said in a news conference. At least 16 people were killed in clashes on Saturday in the southern Libyan desert oasis of Sabha, after a ceasefire brokered the previous day fell apart.
At least 147 people have been killed during a week of clashes between Toubou fighters and Arab tribespeople, the Libyan...

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28 Mar 2012

‘Dozens killed’ in clashes in Libyan town of Sabha

At least 70 people have reportedly been killed in fighting between militias around the Libyan town of Sabha. Former rebels and ethnic Toubou gunmen began clashing after the killing of a militiaman on Sunday. A ceasefire was agreed on Wednesday, but reports of fresh fighting emerged later in the day. Hundreds of government troops have been sent to the region and mediation efforts are underway, according to government spokesman Nasser al-Manaa.
At least 70 people have reportedly been killed in fighting between militias around the Libyan town of Sabha. Former...

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19 Mar 2012

Nato must investigate civilian deaths in Libya, says Amnesty

Nato has failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the seven-month operation in Libya that helped bring about the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi, Amnesty International has said
Nato has failed to properly investigate or provide compensation for civilian deaths caused by its air strikes during the...

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18 Mar 2012

Libya rejects claims it cannot try Abdullah al-Senussi

Interpol issued an arrest and extradition request on behalf of Libya's provisional government after police in Mauritania detained Senussi on Friday night as he arrived on a flight from Casablanca. But Libya's ruling National Transitional Council's bid to try the most reviled figure in the Gaddafi regime apart from the late dictator himself was in danger of being thwarted after France and the International Criminal Court also filed formal extradition requests with the Mauritanian authorities.
Interpol issued an arrest and extradition request on behalf of Libya's provisional government after police in Mauritania...

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17 Mar 2012

Gaddafi spy chief Abdullah al-Senussi held in Mauritania

The Libyan authorities have confirmed the arrest in Mauritania of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence chief. Mauritanian security officials said Abdullah al-Senussi was detained at Nouakchott airport. Senussi, 63, was Gaddafi's brother-in-law, and has been described as one of his most trusted aides.
The Libyan authorities have confirmed the arrest in Mauritania of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's intelligence...

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7 Mar 2012

Libya militias pose threat to precarious stability

The revolution is long over in Libya, but gunfire still crackles in the night, echoing down empty streets and alleys. Swaggering men in Che Guevara-style berets patrol the outskirts of once-besieged Misurata with antiaircraft guns affixed to the back of their pickup trucks, stalking those they believe are responsible for their city's misery.
The revolution is long over in Libya, but gunfire still crackles in the night, echoing down empty streets and alleys....

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20 Feb 2012

What if the ‘people’ don’t want democracy

A survey has revealed that the people of Libya may not be keen on democracy after all. The "Arab Spring" has been celebrated in the Western world as a struggle of democracy against dictatorship. Often the implicit assumption was that what the revolutionaries who were trying to overthrow their authoritarian regimes wanted was a Western-style parliamentary democracy. So when only 15 per cent of those surveyed in Libya say they want democracy established in a year, compared with 40 per cent who profess a preference for a "strong leader", it s a bit of a let-down for Western cheerleaders of the upheavals in the Arab world. Moreover, apparently only about a third of those polled wanted democracy even in five years time.
A survey has revealed that the people of Libya may not be keen on democracy after all. The "Arab Spring" has been...

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2 Feb 2012

Libyans try to reclaim seized property

Libyans try to take back millions in property that they say was taken from them under Muammar Gaddafi's law number four. The law, originating in the deposed leader's Green Book allowed for property to be seized by Gaddafi supporters in a moment's notice.
Libyans try to take back millions in property that they say was taken from them under Muammar Gaddafi's law number four....

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28 Jan 2012

Libya prisoners make new torture allegations

New evidence has emerged that supporters of the former Libyan leader, Col Gaddafi, have been tortured while in detention. The BBC has been told by inmates at a jail in Misrata that they were beaten, whipped and given electric shocks. The head of the city's military council has dismissed the allegations. United Nations human rights chief Navi Pillay has called on Libya's transitional government to take full control of all prisons.
New evidence has emerged that supporters of the former Libyan leader, Col Gaddafi, have been tortured while in...

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26 Jan 2012

Aid group halts work in Libya over ‘torture’

Aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has halted its work in detention centres in a Libyan city because it said its medical staff were being asked to patch up detainees mid-way through torture sessions so they could go back for more abuse.
Aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has halted its work in detention centres in a Libyan city because it said its...

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24 Jan 2012

Pro-Gaddafi fighters retake Bani Walid

Loyalists of Libya's ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi have seized control of the town of Bani Walid, raising the former government's green flag, an official and a commander have said. The retaking of the town, 150km southeast of Tripoli, the capital, comes as Libya's new leaders have struggled to unify the oil-rich North African nation three months after Gaddafi was captured and killed.
Loyalists of Libya's ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi have seized control of the town of Bani Walid, raising the former...

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22 Jan 2012

Deputy head of Libya’s NTC resigns

Abdul Hafez Ghoga, the deputy head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) has submitted his resignation. "My resignation is for the benefit of the nation and is required at this stage," he told Al Jazeera on Sunday. "Unfortunately, the consensus has not continued to maintain the highest national interests. The atmosphere of deprivation and hatred has prevailed ... I do not want this atmosphere to continue and negatively affect the National Transitional Council and its performance," he said.
Abdul Hafez Ghoga, the deputy head of Libya's ruling National Transitional Council (NTC) has submitted his resignation....

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22 Jan 2012

Libya prepares for its first election

Libya's rulers are preparing for the first election since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, but many are concerned with how the poll will take place, and its impact. Libyan students are being given booklets to explain the election process to them in a basic way. The process is broken down into three stages, and the booklet explains the steps that will be taken in the lead-up to the final government, which will be voted for in 20 months' time.
Libya's rulers are preparing for the first election since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, but many are concerned with how...

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22 Jan 2012

Protests Shake Libya’s Interim Government

Libya s postwar transitional government faced a political crisis on Sunday after protesters ransacked its offices in Benghazi, forcing one top leader to resign and another to warn that the country stood on the edge of violence.
Libya s postwar transitional government faced a political crisis on Sunday after protesters ransacked its offices in...

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7 Jan 2012

Saif Gaddafi sets Libya’s new rulers a test of commitment to human rights

Home for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is currently a converted living room with a dirty beige carpet in a compound close to Zintan, a modest mountain town 100 miles south-east of Libya's capital, Tripoli. Uniformed guards are his only company and he is denied visitors, television, radio and the internet.
Home for Saif al-Islam Gaddafi is currently a converted living room with a dirty beige carpet in a compound close to...

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4 Jan 2012

Libya names new armed forces chief

Libya named Yousef al-Manqoush, a retired general from Misrata, as head of the armed forces in the first significant move to build a new Libyan military. The appointment was announced on Tuesday as four fighters were killed in a gun battle between rival armed groups in Tripoli, underlining the interim government's difficulties in controlling the increasingly fractious groups who toppled Muammar Gaddafi.
Libya named Yousef al-Manqoush, a retired general from Misrata, as head of the armed forces in the first significant...

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3 Jan 2012

Former Libyan Rebel Groups Clash

Two former Libyan rebel factions clashed Tuesday in hours of gunbattles in central Tripoli that left five fighters dead, a Tripoli military council official said. Former rebels of Tripoli and a separate group of fighters from the city of Misrata fought with machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns. Col. Walid Shouaib, a member of Tripoli Military Council, said the clashes were triggered by arrest of a Misrata fighter on New Year's Eve by Tripoli fighters. He was suspected of robbery and the Misrata fighters were trying to free him.
Two former Libyan rebel factions clashed Tuesday in hours of gunbattles in central Tripoli that left five fighters dead,...

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30 Dec 2011

Post-Gadhafi Libya – Naked Neo-Imperialism

While the unconcealed hypocrisy that led to the emergence of a new Libya fades from the public consciousness, the governments of the West are beginning to reap the profits of their investments. Under a mandate to protect civilians, these allied forces armed radical factions of Islamist fighters and showered white phosphorus tipped ordnanceonto densely populated residential areas. While sponsoring politicians equated the Libyan rebels to heroic advocates of western democracy fighting for freedom, these men committed racially motivated beheadings and executions of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa and filled mass graves with the corpses of their fellow countrymen, Gaddafi loyalists.
While the unconcealed hypocrisy that led to the emergence of a new Libya fades from the public consciousness, the...

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29 Dec 2011

Gaddafi-era minister forced to resign

Despite the celebrations that have swept various Libyan cities for the first time to mark the 60th anniversary of its independence in 1951- an occasion that the regime of the late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had consistently ignored- the National Transitional Council [NTC] and its interim government are coming under growing pressure from the Libyan street. This pressure has led to the resignation of Economy Minister Al-Tahir Sharkas, less than one month after he assumed his post.
Despite the celebrations that have swept various Libyan cities for the first time to mark the 60th anniversary of its...

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27 Dec 2011

Libya needs strong institutions to rebuild on Gadhafi’s ruins

With the creation of a new government, Libya s leaders should finally be able to focus on organizing the transition from the authoritarian state that they inherited to the more pluralistic one that they envisage. But are they really able and willing to achieve that goal? In the United States, the debate on Libya has focused on what steps its government should take next. Senator Robert Menendez argues that the Libyans "must move quickly to embrace democratic reform," while international development specialists, such as Manal Omar of the United States Institute for Peace, believe that success lies in the cultivation of a vibrant civil society.
With the creation of a new government, Libya s leaders should finally be able to focus on organizing the transition from...

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24 Dec 2011

Libya independence: King Idris anniversary celebrated

For the first time in 42 years, Libya is celebrating the anniversary of its independence. The United Libyan Kingdom was formed on 24 December 1951 under King Idris. However, after Col Muammar Gaddafi seized power in 1969, only the date of his coup was allowed to be marked. Celebrations are planned in Tripoli, including lunch for several thousand, served on tables which organisers say could stretch for 2km (1.2 miles) along Tripoli's seafront.
For the first time in 42 years, Libya is celebrating the anniversary of its independence. The United Libyan Kingdom was...

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18 Dec 2011

Scores of Unintended Casualties in NATO War in Libya

NATO s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and helping to push him from power, came with an unrecognized toll: scores of civilian casualties the alliance has long refused to acknowledge or investigate.
NATO s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by...

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18 Dec 2011

Scores of Unintended Casualties in NATO War in Libya

NATO s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi and helping to push him from power, came with an unrecognized toll: scores of civilian casualties the alliance has long refused to acknowledge or investigate.
NATO s seven-month air campaign in Libya, hailed by the alliance and many Libyans for blunting a lethal crackdown by...
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