ISIL declares ‘caliphate’

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Updated 30 June 2014
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ISIL declares ‘caliphate’

BEIRUT: An offshoot of Al-Qaeda which has captured swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic “Caliphate” and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance, a statement posted on jihadist websites said on Sunday.
The move is an expansion of the group’s ambitions to wage a holy war and posed a direct challenge to the central leadership of Al-Qaeda, which has already disowned it.
The group, previously known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as ISIS, has renamed itself “Islamic State” and proclaimed its leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghadi as “Caliph” — the head of the state, the statement said.
“He is the imam and khalifah (Caliph) for the Muslims everywhere,” the group’s spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani said in the statement, which was translated into several languages and an Arabic audio speech.
“Accordingly, the “Iraq and Sham” (Levant) in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration,” he said.
Charles Lister, Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, saw considerable significance in the move.
“Whatever judgments are made in terms of its legitimacy, (the) announcement that it has restored the Caliphate is likely the most significant development in international jihadism since 9/11.
“The impact of this announcement will be global as Al-Qaeda affiliates and independent jihadist groups must now definitively choose to support and join the Islamic State or to oppose it.”
Fighters from the group overran the Iraqi city of Mosul last month and have advanced toward Baghdad. In Syria they have captured territory in the north and east, along the frontier with Iraq.
“It is incumbent upon all Muslims to pledge allegiance to (him) and support him...The legality of all emirates, groups, states, and organizations, becomes null by the expansion of the khalifah’s authority and arrival of its troops to their areas,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Sylvia Westall in Beirut and Ali Abdelaty in Cairo)


Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

Updated 23 September 2018
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Libya seeks UN help as militia fighting kills 10

  • Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting.

BENGHAZI: The latest bout of fighting between rival militias in the capital Tripoli has left 10 people dead.

The medical authorities said 59 people were also wounded when fighting erupted the previous day, taking the death toll to 106 since armed conflict first began there late last month. Friday’s fighting further strained a cease-fire that has been in force since Sept. 4. They said a total of 18 people remain missing.

Libya’s internationally recognized government has called on the UN to take “concrete and effective” action to protect civilians and halt the fighting. The Government of National Accord (GNA) called on the UN mission to “present the Security Council with the reality of the bloody events in Libya so that it can ... protect the lives and property of civilians”.

Libya slid into chaos after the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi and led to his death. It’s governed by rival authorities, based in Tripoli and the country’s east, each backed by an array of militias.