Thursday 19 October 2017
(AFP (eng) 10/17/17)
More than 20,000 migrants, including pregnant women and babies, are being held either in detention centres or by traffickers in Libya's people-smuggling hub Sabratha, the UN said Tuesday, warning of abuse "on a shocking scale". The UN refugee agency said Libyan authorities were holding more than 14,500 migrants who had previously been kept captive by smugglers in and around Sabratha, to the west of Tripoli. The migrants were discovered in farms, houses and warehouses in and around the coastal city after a force allied with Libya's UN-backed unity government drove out a rival militia earlier this month. They have been taken to a hangar in the city and are gradually being transferred to official detention centres where aid...
(Xinhuanet 10/17/17)
Flights at Tripoli's international airport have resumed on Monday after hours of suspension for "security reasons," according to a security source. "The airport resumed working after closure for hours for security reasons," the source told Xinhua. "Instead of being transferred to another airport, the flights had been suspended until further notice. Now, flights have landed and departed according to the schedule," The source added. The source revealed that the flights were suspended after "gunmen fired right outside of the airport, threatening the security of the passengers and airplanes." Libya suffers security vacuum and unrest since the uprising that toppled former leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011. The country is plagued with chaos and political division.
(Reuters (Eng) 10/11/17)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A CIA operative told a jury on Tuesday about the terror he experienced in 2012 when militants attacked the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, and described how he recovered the body of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens. The operative, who testified in what the judge described as “light disguise” under the pseudonym “Alexander Charles,” was the latest witness to appear in the trial of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who is accused of orchestrating the Sept. 11,...
(AFP (eng) 10/10/17)
TUNIS/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - U.N. agencies said on Monday they were trying to provide urgent help to large numbers of migrants held and then stranded in the smuggling hub of Sabratha as rival factions battled for control of the city. At least 4,000 migrants, including pregnant women, newborn babies and unaccompanied children, have been transferred from informal camps and housing to a hangar in the city since the clashes ended on Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said. The U.N...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
The Libyan coastguard has opened fire on an oil tanker carrying contraband fuel, a spokesman for the navy told AFP on Saturday. "The 'Goeast', flying the Comoran flag, was spotted three days ago heading for Abu Kamash and took on fuel via a pipeline on Thursday night, two kilometres from the coast," General Ayoub Qassem said. Abu Kamash is the site of one of the oil-rich North African country's largest petrochemical complexes, near the Tunisian border some 170 kilometres (100 miles) west of Tripoli. On Friday, the coastguard tried contacting the ship's crew. Receiving no response, it opened fire...
(AFP (eng) 10/09/17)
The remains have been unearthed of 21 Coptic Christians beheaded by jihadists on a Libyan beach two years ago, the interior ministry said on Saturday. "The heads are separated from the bodies clad in orange jumpsuits, hands bound behind the back with plastic wire," said the ministry's unit for fighting organised crime in the city of Misrata. It said the bodies of 20 Egyptians and a man of unknown African nationality were unearthed from a mass grave south of the...
(AFP (eng) 10/06/17)
The number of illegal migrants leaving Libya for Europe has fallen by 20 percent so far in 2017, the European naval force charged with stopping people trafficking in the Mediterranean said Thursday. "We have seen a drop in the number of people leaving Libya for Europe this year, around 20 percent," Enrico Credendino, commander of the force, told a news conference aboard the Cantabria ship at the port of La Goulette, near Tunis. Summer saw a drop of 75 percent...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
Libya's largest oilfield Sharara was reopened by oil guards who shut it down in a protest on Sunday, an official from the oilfield told Xinhua Wednesday. The source affirmed that the field, located in southern Libya, would resume production officially, with an agreement having "solved the problem of the field closure." Battalion 30, allied with the UN-backed government of national accord, closed the field to pressure the authorities with the demands for releasing detainees in Tripoli and paying delayed salaries...
(Xinhuanet 10/05/17)
IS claimed responsibility for the suicide bomb attack on Wednesday on a court complex in the western Libyan city of Misrata, which killed four security personnel and wounded 21 others. "Dedicated soldiers of the Islamic Caliphate forces stormed the court complex, one of the most important strongholds of the unity government in Misrata," IS tweeted shortly after the attack. The attack was carried out by three IS members at the time when a number of other IS militants were brought...
(APA 10/05/17)
APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The African Union (AU) will on Thursday endorse reports and recommendations on Agriculture, Rural Development, Water and Environment (ARWE) made by experts and senior officials in a meeting held on Monday and Tuesday. The endorsement will take place during the ministerial session of the AU’s Specialized Technical Committee on ARWE that opened on Thursday in Addis Ababa under the theme “Improve environmental sustainability and transform agriculture to ensure food and nutrition security.” These include policy papers...
(AFP (eng) 10/04/17)
At least four people were killed Wednesday in an Islamic State group suicide bomb attack at the main court building in Libya's third-largest city Misrata, security officials told AFP. The officials said a suicide bomber was able to detonate an explosive vest inside the building in the centre of Misrata, a coastal city about 200 kilometres (125 miles) east of Tripoli. "Three men belonging to the Islamic State jihadist organisation carried out a suicide attack against the court complex in Misrata... killing four people and wounding 15 others," General Mohammed Ghassri, a spokesman for armed forces in Misrata...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/04/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Gunmen killed at least three people and wounded 35 on Wednesday in a suicide attack on a court complex in the Libyan city of Misrata, officials and a witness said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement run by the group’s Amaq news agency it had targeted “one of the most prominent strongholds” of Libya’s U.N.-backed Government of National Accord. An armed coalition led by forces from Misrata under the GNA’s nominal command...
(BBC 10/04/17)
Boris Johnson has said Libyan city Sirte could be the new Dubai, adding, "all they have to do is clear the dead bodies away". The foreign secretary's comments at a Conservative conference fringe meeting have sparked anger, with Labour calling them "crass, callous and cruel". Conservative MP Heidi Allen said he should be sacked, as did the Lib Dems. Mr Johnson claimed his critics had "no knowledge or understanding of Libya" and accused them of playing politics. "I look at...
(Reuters (Eng) 10/03/17)
TRIPOLI (Reuters) - At least five civilians were killed and 12 others wounded among dozens of casualties in recent fighting in the Libyan migrant smuggling hub of Sabratha, the United Nations said on Monday. Sabratha’s university hospital has twice been hit by shelling, rendering the emergency and surgery units unusable, the U.N. Libya mission said in a statement. The clashes have pitted the Anas al-Dabbashi brigade, a powerful armed group previously known for migrant smuggling, against the Operations Room to...
(AFP (eng) 10/01/17)
Benghazi port in east Libya reopened Sunday for the first time in three years after being forced to cease operations because of clashes in the cradle of the 2011 revolution. Commercial operations at the port had ended in 2014 when armed movements, including the Islamic State group, occupied the North African country's second city. They were expelled in July this year by the forces of military strongman Khalifa Haftar who backs a rival administration in the east to the UN-recognised government in Tripoli. It was the eastern-based government of Abdullah al-Thani that inaugurated the port's reopening, and he arrived on board a cargo vessel accompanied by members of his cabinet.
(AFP (eng) 09/29/17)
Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar asked Europe for helicopters and drones to fight rampant migration on the southern border of the war-wracked country. The request came after the commander, who backs a Tobruk-based administration that controls much of the east and south of Libya, travelled to Rome and Paris to bolster his stature as a key player in international efforts to stabilise the country. "When it comes to controlling the southern border, my forces can supply the personnel but you...
(Reuters (Eng) 09/29/17)
Islamic State militants in Libya set up a desert army composed of at least three brigades after they lost their stronghold of Sirte last year, a senior prosecutor said on Thursday. Hundreds of militants are believed to have escaped from Sirte before or during the seven-month campaign to oust the jihadist group from the coastal city, which it took control of in 2015. Sheltering in desert camps, fugitive militants have become emboldened in recent weeks, occasionally setting up checkpoints on...
(Xinhuanet 09/29/17)
The Egyptian military has foiled a smuggling operation by seizing 10 vehicles loaded with arms attempting to cross the border into Egypt from Libya, a military spokesman said Thursday. "The operation resulted in destroying 10 four-by-four vehicles loaded with weapons, ammunition and smuggled material," the military's spokesman Tamer al-Refaay said in a statement. Suffering from repeated terror attacks back home, Egypt is very concerned about its western border with eastern Libya which have been a point of infiltration by militants...
(AFP (eng) 09/28/17)
Libya's navy warned it will seize activists' boats on migrant rescue missions that enter its waters unauthorised, after a run-in Wednesday with a German vessel during which a warning shot was fired. "This time we avoided an escalation. In future, we will seize the boats of NGOs that do not respect Libya's sovereignty," said navy spokesman General Ayub Kacem. The Libyan coastguard earlier boarded a boat operated by Germany's "Mission Lifeline" which had picked up 52
(Voice of America 09/28/17)
The U.N. Human Rights Office warns rival governments and armed militias in Libya are in violation of international humanitarian and human rights laws and their abusive actions threaten the stability of the country. The U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva is reviewing a report on the situation. The report makes for grim reading. Six years after former Libyan dictator, Moammar Gadhafi was toppled, it finds armed groups including the internationally recognized Government of National Accord and the opposition Libyan National...

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