Hundreds protest against militias in Libya’s Benghazi

Updated 29 December 2012
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Hundreds protest against militias in Libya’s Benghazi

BENGHAZI, Libya: Some 2,000 people rallied in Libya’s second city Benghazi on Friday to demand that militias made up of former rebels who helped oust dictator Muammar Qaddafi disband and join the army or police.
“Our demands are: dissolve all militias and make their members individually enter the army or police force,” activist and law student Bilal Bettamer said.
“And we want all pro-Qaddafi and Qaddafi-era criminals to be removed from the police and army. We want to end this stalemate between the army and militias,” he added.
Former rebels who have refused to join the security forces insist that the authorities first purge them of remnants of the Qaddafi regime.
Helicopters and fighter jets flew over the “Benghazi will not die” rally, which came a week after the army deployed units in the city to bolster security.
Banners read: “We want a unified army,” and “no more assassinations.”
Benghazi has witnessed a series of attacks against police stations and assassinations targeting military officers.
It has also become a focus for jihadist groups, including militants who killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in a September 11 attack on the US consulate.


Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

Updated 20 May 2018
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Palestinian President Abbas hospitalized: Palestinian official

RAMALLAH: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been hospitalized in the West Bank due to complications after minor surgery last week, a Palestinian official said on Sunday.
It was the third time Abbas, 82, had been hospitalized in a week. He underwent minor ear surgery on Tuesday and was hospitalized again briefly overnight on Saturday/Sunday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said.
A Palestinian official in Ramallah said Abbas went back into hospital again later on Sunday because his temperature was high “so doctors advised that he go back into hospital.”
Two statements were issued by Wafa on Sunday. The first, half an hour after midnight, said Abbas had gone into hospital “for a checkup to review the surgery that he had in his middle ear a few days ago at Al-Istishari hospital in Ramallah. At the end of the tests, the results turned out to be excellent,” the statement said, and Abbas left hospital.
A second statement carried by Wafa on Sunday afternoon reported the medical manager of Al-Istishari hospital, Dr. Saed Sarahneh, said the results of the medical tests were “good” and that his medical condition was “reassuring.”
A Palestinian official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the high temperature may have resulted from a failure of an ear inflammation to heal completely.
In February, Abbas was hospitalized in the United States for medical checks during a trip to address the UN Security Council in New York.
Abbas became Palestinian president after the death in 2004 of Yasser Arafat. He pursued US-led peace talks with Israel but the negotiations broke down in 2014.
He is also chairman of the executive committee of the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, a position to which he was re-elected unopposed on May 4.