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.


Dozens wounded as police break up Morocco teacher protest

Updated 35 min 23 sec ago
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Dozens wounded as police break up Morocco teacher protest

  • Teachers on temporary contracts launched a strike in March
  • The dispute concerns 55,000 teachers recruited since 2016 on fixed-term contracts

RABAT: Over 70 demonstrators were left wounded Thursday after Moroccan police used water cannon to disperse a rally in the capital by thousands of contract teachers protesting over their employment terms.
Teachers chanting “Social justice!” and “No to dismantling public schools!” attempted to camp out overnight in front of parliament in central Rabat to press their demands, but police broke up their rally.
The public-sector teachers, mostly wearing white coats, came from several cities around the country after a meeting with the education ministry was canceled on Tuesday.
Organizers of the event later said over 70 teachers were hospitalized, with varying injuries during the protest, with many beaten by batons.
Teachers on temporary contracts launched a strike in March and have held major demonstrations to press their demand for permanent employment arrangements to improve their conditions, especially over retirement.
After a first meeting with the education ministry in mid-April, representatives of the teachers suspended their strike.
But the education ministry Tuesday accused some teachers of not respecting that commitment and said it would not continue the dialogue until they resumed work.
For their part, the teachers say the ministry does not want to grant their main demand: to be granted civil servant status along with the job security that affords.
The dispute concerns 55,000 teachers recruited since 2016 on fixed-term contracts.
Teachers on temporary contracts enjoy the same salaries as their permanent colleagues — 5,000 dirhams ($520) a month — but unlike them, do not have access to a pension fund and other benefits.