Home Tags Posts tagged with "tripoli"
A helicopter has crashed in Libya’s capital Tripoli killing at least 12 people, security sources say.
The helicopter had been carrying cash for a local bank on the way out and was returning with passengers to Tripoli.
According to local media, the dead may include high-ranking militia members. Bank workers were also reportedly on board.
The civilian bank staff were from the town of Surman, a militia spokesman said.
Libya has been hit by instability since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, with numerous militias each governing their own patches of territory.
The staff of the US embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli has been temporarily evacuated over security concerns.
The US embassy staff, including marine guards providing security to the embassy, have been transferred to Tunisia “due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias”.
Secretary of State John Kerry said there was a “real risk” to staff.
It comes amid fierce clashes between rival militias in the capital, with intense fighting at Tripoli airport.
Libya has been gripped by instability since the 2011 uprising, with swathes of Libya controlled by militias.
The staff of the US embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli has been temporarily evacuated over security concerns (photo AP)
The US embassy in Tripoli was already operating on limited staffing. All remaining personnel were driven overland to Tunisia in the early hours of Saturday.
The US military said it had “assisted in the relocation” of embassy staff, using F-16 and MV-22 Osprey aircraft.
It said the five-hour operation was “conducted without incident”.
State department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the withdrawal “underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad”.
Marie Harf said that fighting between rival armed groups was taking place “in very close proximity” to the US embassy in the capital.
The state department has also urged US nationals not to go to Libya.
It is the second time in more than three years that the US has closed its embassy in Libya.
Turkey has also withdrawn some 700 members of staff from Libya, Secretary of State John Kerry said.
Earlier this week, the UN also announced it was withdrawing all its staff from Libya.
[youtube SUFqZvM9JiA 650]
Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has called for “rationality and wisdom” after being freed from the custody of militiamen.
Ali Zeidan was abducted from a Tripoli hotel and held for several hours by armed men whose identity has yet to be confirmed.
In a cabinet meeting, PM Ali Zeidan thanked “real revolutionaries” who took part in a security operation to free him.
The motive of the abduction is unclear but some militias had been angered by a US commando raid to capture senior al-Qaeda suspect Anas al-Liby.
Many militia groups saw the raid in Tripoli on Saturday as a breach of Libyan sovereignty and there is growing pressure on the government to explain if it was involved.
One group, the Libya Revolutionaries Operations Room (LROR), said it had captured Ali Zeidan, claiming it was acting on orders from the prosecutor general. But the justice ministry denied this.
The LROR said its actions had not been related to Anas al-Liby’s detention.
The official Lana news agency also named another formal rebel group, the Brigade for the Fight against Crime, as being involved.
Ali Zeidan has called for “rationality and wisdom” after being freed from the custody of militiamen
Two years after the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Libya still has no constitution and divisions between secular and Islamist forces have paralyzed parliament.
The government has been struggling to contain the numerous militias who control many parts of the country.
Ali Zeidan’s cabinet meeting following his release was shown live on Libya’s al-Ahrar television.
He thanked those who had helped free him but gave no details about them or the abductors.
He said: “I salute the revolutionaries who had an important role. The real revolutionaries, those who rose above greedy demands, I salute them for what they did in this affair.”
Ali Zeidan urged them to “assimilate into the state, and play an active role in it through its civilian and military institutions”.
He added: “Only with an army and the police can a state exist.”
The prime minister said of his capture: “These are accidental things from the revolution’s overflow and they will disappear.”
Ali Zeidan also said Libya would “regain its health” and be “an active, positive nation”.
He assured foreigners the incident had happened “within the context of Libyan political wrangles”.
Ali Zeidan ended by calling for “caution and rationality in handling this matter”.
He had been taken in a pre-dawn raid on the Corinthia Hotel by more than 100 armed men.
Photographs circulating online showed Ali Zeidan being surrounded and led away. There were no reports of violence during his capture.
The prime minister was reportedly held at the interior ministry anti-crime department in Tripoli, where an official said he was treated well.
In a news conference shortly before the release was announced, the government condemned the “criminal act” of his detention and said it would not give in to “blackmail”.
The LROR is one of a number of militias operating in Libya which are nominally attached to government ministries but often act independently and, correspondents say, often have the upper hand over police and army forces.
Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been abducted by gunmen in Tripoli.
Ali Zeidan was taken from his hotel at dawn “by gunmen to an unknown place for unknown reasons”, said a statement on the government’s website.
The details are unclear – sources say Ali Zeidan was arrested by an anti-crime militia allied to the government, but others that he had been kidnapped.
There is speculation the event is linked to the capture of a senior al-Qaeda suspect in Libya by US forces.
The government has come under pressure to explain how US commandos were able to seize Anas al-Liby last Saturday.
He is wanted in the US over the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
Libya’s Prime Minister Ali Zeidan has been abducted by gunmen in Tripoli
On Monday, Libya demanded an explanation from the US ambassador over the incident.
The details of Ali Zeidan’s capture remain unclear, but that he was taken by armed men from a hotel he resides in the early hours of the morning.
The government website said he had been taken “to an unknown place for unknown reasons by a group thought to be from the Tripoli Revolutionaries Control Room and the Committee for Fighting Crime”.
There are a number of militia groups operating in Libya which are nominally attached to government ministries but often act independently.
The ministry of justice confirmed that no arrest warrant had been issued for Ali Zeidan.
The government statement did not name the hotel, but a woman at the Corinthia Hotel – where the prime minister lives – confirmed the incident happened there when armed men entered the building.
She said no-one had been killed.
Libya’s cabinet has been summoned for an immediate meeting under the leadership of the deputy prime minister.
Al-Arabiya TV station broadcast images which showed Ali Zeidan looking disheveled and being escorted by what the station said were armed men.
Two years after the revolt which overthrew Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s government has been struggling to contain rival tribal militias and Islamist militants who control parts of the country.
Two huge explosions killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 400 others in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, health officials say.
The explosions are thought to represent the deadliest attack in Lebanon since the end of the civil war in 1990.
As Friday prayers ended, a blast hit the al-Taqwa mosque, which is usually attended by prominent Sunni cleric Sheikh Salem Rafii. He was unharmed.
A second blast five minutes later hit the al-Salam mosque in the Mina area.
War in neighboring Syria has raised sectarian tensions between the city’s Sunni Muslim and Alawite communities.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the attacks and called for calm and restraint.
Sheikh Salem Rafii is one of the most prominent Sunni leaders in Lebanon and is believed to have been a possible target.
He is opposed to Lebanon’s militant Shia Hezbollah group and has previously urged young Lebanese men to join opposition fighters in Syria.
Two huge explosions killed at least 42 people and wounded more than 400 others in Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli
It is not clear whether he was at the al-Taqwa mosque at the time of the attack, although some reports say he was giving a sermon.
Ambulances rushed to the aftermath of the blasts and heavy black smoke covered the sky.
“It was as if there was an earthquake, the whole city seemed to be shaking,” a local resident told Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper.
Television pictures showed damaged cars on fire, with their windows smashed, and people running through the streets trying to carry wounded people to safety.
Bodies could be seen on the ground and windows were broken on surrounding apartment blocks.
The preacher at the al-Salam mosque – the site of the second explosion – is also an opponent of the Syrian government and its Lebanese ally, Hezbollah, Associated Press reports.
No group has taken responsibility for the latest attacks.
In a statement reported by Lebanon’s National News Agency, Hezbollah strongly condemned the blasts.
The group said the attacks aimed to “sow seeds of strife among the Lebanese and drag them into bickering under a sectarian guise”.
Outgoing Lebanese PM Najib Mikati and President Michel Suleiman have also condemned the attacks, calling on citizens to unite against violence.
A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “The secretary-general calls on all Lebanese to exercise restraint, to remain united, and to support their state institutions… in maintaining calm and order in Tripoli and throughout the country, and in preventing the recurrence of such destructive actions.”
Tripoli, a city of nearly 200,000 people and Lebanon’s second largest, is one of the country’s most volatile sectarian fault lines, with a small Alawite population living in the midst of a Sunni majority.
The Alawite community tends to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with Sunnis mostly backing the rebels fighting him.
The bombs come a week after a massive car bomb rocked a Shia district of Beirut, leaving 27 people dead. The area hit contained Hezbollah strongholds.
A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two guards and causing extensive damage.
The blast completely destroyed the embassy’s reception area and parts of neighboring homes.
One official told Reuters news agency: “We think it was a booby-trapped car.”
An investigation is under way into what French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called an “odious act”.
A car bomb has exploded outside the French embassy in the Libyan capital Tripoli, wounding two guards and causing extensive damage
Laurent Fabius said French officials were working with the Libyan authorities to identify those responsible.
The explosion happened shortly after 07:00 in a smart, residential area of Tripoli.
The blast took place in a small side street, causing extensive damage to the buildings and parked cars.
Diplomatic missions in Libya have been attacked in the past, the most notable being the US consulate in the eastern city of Benghazi in September 2012 that led to the death of its ambassador Christopher Stevens and three Americans.
This is the first major attack on a foreign embassy in the Libyan capital, observers say.