Casualties as twin suicide attack hits eastern Libya

Libyans check the aftermath of an explosion in the eastern city of Benghazi. (File Photo: Abdullah Doma/AFP)
Updated 12 June 2018
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Casualties as twin suicide attack hits eastern Libya

BENGHAZI: Two suicide bombers on Tuesday hit forces loyal to Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar who is leading an offensive against extremists in an eastern town, a spokesman for his forces said.
The explosions were heard across Derna as the bombers hit the Chiha district in the south of the town, spokesman Khalifa Al-Abidi said.
Abidi did not give a toll for the attacks but said civilians were among the casualties as the roof of a family home collapsed.
On Monday night, another suicide attack killed two fighters of Haftar’s Libyan National Army and wounded three, the spokesman said.
Over the past month, the self-styled LNA has been engaged in an offensive to take Derna, the only eastern town outside Haftar’s control.
Derna is held by a ragtag alliance of extremists militias, including groups close to Al-Qaeda, hostile to both Haftar and the Daesh group.
The coastal town is located more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) east of the capital Tripoli and around 300 kilometers east of second city Benghazi.
Abidi said the LNA is “advancing steadily to liberate a very small remaining pocket before liberating the whole of Derna.”
He said “terrorists” were “resorting to suicide attacks after they failed to tackle” the LNA conventionally.
Haftar supports an administration based in the east which opposes the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.
The strongman’s critics claim he wants to establish a military dictatorship.


Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 24 April 2019
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Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.