El-Sisi wants return of Egypt militant held in Libya

This handout picture released on October 8, 2018, by the Libyan Armed Forces shows Egyptian jihadist leader Hisham al-Ashmawy after being arrested in the Libyan city of Derna. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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El-Sisi wants return of Egypt militant held in Libya

  • Hisham el-Ashmawy was arrested by Haftar's forces on Monday in the eastern city of Derna
  • “We want him to serve time in prison,” El-Sisi said in a televised speech

CAIRO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi asked Thursday for a suspected extremist leader and former Egyptian special forces officer captured this week in Libya to be handed over to his country.
Forces of Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar, who supports an administration vying for power with Libya’s UN-backed unity government, have said they arrested Hisham el-Ashmawy on Monday in the eastern city of Derna.
“We want him to serve time in prison,” El-Sisi said in a televised speech on the sidelines of a military conference.
A spokesman for Haftar’s forces, who are backed by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, said Ashmawy was an alleged member of the Islamist extremist group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis and wanted over the attempted assassination of an ex-interior minister in September 2013.
Ashmawy left the Egyptian army in 2012 and joined Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, based in the eastern Sinai Peninsula.
He is believed to have gone to Libya in 2013, before Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to the Daesh group in November 2014.
He is accused of being behind attacks in Egypt’s Western Desert.


Tripoli neighborhoods ‘turning into battlefields’: Red Cross

Updated 19 min 54 sec ago
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Tripoli neighborhoods ‘turning into battlefields’: Red Cross

  • Hospitals are struggling from chronic shortages of medical supplies
  • There have also been power outages and weakened water pumping stations

GENEVA/TRIPOLI: The humanitarian situation has greatly deteriorated around the Libyan capital Tripoli, where “densely populated residential areas are gradually turning into battlefields,” the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday.
Hospitals are struggling with chronic shortages of medical supplies amid power outages and weakened water pumping stations, the aid agency said in a statement after three weeks of clashes.
“It is crucial that hospitals, medical facilities, health staff and vehicles transporting the wounded are allowed to carry out their activities safely,” it said.
The World Health Organization said on Twitter that 278 people have been killed in the last three weeks, while 1,332 others have been wounded.
The Libyan National Army, which is allied to a rival government in eastern Libya, has mounted an offensive on Tripoli but has so far failed to breach the city’s southern defenses.
Southern suburbs and nearby villages have been heavily fought over and shelled, with territory regularly changing hands.