Rockets fired near airport in Tripoli, Daesh claims attack on oil company

Firefighters and rescuers gather in front of the headquarters of Libya's National Oil Company in the capital Tripoli on September 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Rockets fired near airport in Tripoli, Daesh claims attack on oil company

  • Daesh claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on the headquarters of Libyan state oil company NOC in Tripoli

TRIPOLI: Rockets were fired late on Tuesday in the direction of the airport in Libya’s capital, residents said, forcing flights to be diverted, less than a week after the United Nations brokered a fragile truce between rival armed groups in Tripoli.
A spokesman for a faction controlling Matiga airport, the only one functioning in the capital, said there were no casualties or damage. Libyan channels reported that several people had been wounded by the rockets, one of which landed in the Mediterranean sea.
Rival groups have been fighting in Tripoli for several days but clashes had been focused on the south of the city. Matiga airport lies in an eastern suburb.
A Libyan Airlines flight bound for Tripoli from Alexandria, Egypt, was diverted to Misrata, the airport said on its Facebook page. Misrata lies about 190 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli.
A spokesman for Misrata airport said that all flights bound for Tripoli would be diverted to Misrata.
Separately, Daesh claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on the headquarters of Libyan state oil company NOC in Tripoli, the jihadist group’s news agency said on Tuesday.
The attack on Monday killed two NOC staff and wounded 10, said officials, who had described the three shooters who were also killed as “Africans.”
It targeted the “economic interests of oppressing governments funding crusaders,” a statement carried on the militants’ Amaq news agency said.
It was the first attack of its kind against the leadership of Libya’s state oil industry.
Libya has been divided into rival administrations but NOC has continued to function relatively normally across the country, which relies on oil exports for most of its income.
Militants loyal to Daesh have previously carried out attacks in Tripoli and other towns, despite having lost their stronghold in the central city of Sirte late in 2016.
In May, Daesh claimed a deadly attack on the national election commission offices in Tripoli.


Attack on Egyptian expat in Kuwait sparks diplomatic row

Updated 15 November 2018
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Attack on Egyptian expat in Kuwait sparks diplomatic row

  • Egyptian lawyer calls for the arrest of Kuwaiti MP who condemned comments from minister over attack
  • Fatma Aziz says she was injured after she was attacked by a group of Kuwaiti women

CAIRO: An attack on an Egyptian woman living in Kuwait has spiralled into a war of words between politicians from the two countries.

Fatma Aziz, an Egyptian expatriate, said she was verbally and physically attacked by a Kuwaiti woman and four others after she complained that they had hit her child with their bikes. 

In a video posted last week, Aziz described how the woman shoved her to the ground and stepped on her face leaving her with a broken finger, torn hair and bruises.

Nabila Makram, Egypt’s Minister of Immigration and Foreign Affairs, responded to the attack, saying: “The dignity of Egyptian citizens and Egyptian women in specific is a red line. However, we respect Kuwaiti authorities and judiciary.”

But her comments drew the ire of Kuwaiti MP Safa Al-Hashem, who sent a barbed tweet on Makram’s direction.

“Dear Minister of Immigration or Minister of Dignity, as long as you respect the Kuwaiti authority and the Kuwaiti judiciary, it is better for you not to address the issue of dignity nor play on people’s emotions,” she said.

“There is no need to gain political and media attention by inciting fear. We treat people with more dignity than their own country.”

The Kuwaiti MPs response sparked anger in Egypt, where the attack is now being investigated by the authorities.

The Egyptian Hama party said the way Al-Hashem has spoken about Egyptian expats was unacceptable.

“She does not represent the people of Kuwait," the statement said, adding that the Kuwaiti people "respect the Egyptian state.”

The attack and ensuing row has been closely followed by the more than half a million Egyptian expats working in Kuwait.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry said on Monday it was investigating the attack. 

Khaled Yusri Rizk, Assistant Foreign Minister for Consular Affairs and Egyptians abroad, said the Egyptian consulate in Kuwait contacted Aziz.

Egyptian lawyer Amr Abdel Salam submitted a report on the attack to the Attorney General, Nabil Sadiq. The lawyer said Al-Hashem had “insulted an Egyptian public servant” and insulted the Egyptian authorities. 

He urged the Attorney General to take the necessary measures with Kuwait, Interpol and Egyptian ports and airports to arrest Al-Hashem.

“Al-Hashem has provoked the anger of the Egyptian masses through social networking sites, which led to the escalation of public disharmony and damage to the public interest of the Egyptian state,” Salam said.

He said these were criminal offences punishable by imprisonment.

The Kuwaiti MP’s attack on Egypt was also condemned in Kuwait.  

Media personality Aisha Al-Rashed said the Egyptian ambassador to Egypt did not say anything that hurts the people of Kuwait, insisting that Al-Hashem does not represent Kuwaitis.