Haftar forces free 19 from Daesh captivity following clashes

A member of the Libyan military police looks through binoculars as they fight alongside troops loyal to Khalifa Haftar, a retired general and former chief of staff for Moamer Kadhafi, in clashes with Daesh in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. (AFP file photo)
Updated 02 January 2019
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Haftar forces free 19 from Daesh captivity following clashes

  • Daesh has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011

BENGHAZI: The self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) says its forces have freed nearly 20 people who were kidnapped by Daesh militants during attacks in central Libya.
Spokesman Ahmed Al-Mesmari said on Tuesday that clashes erupted late Monday between LNA forces, led by Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter, and Daesh militants in Ghadwua village, 70 kilometers from the southern city of Sabha.
A military official said at least 21 people were kidnapped from the towns of Al-Fuqaha and Tazerbu last month; two of them managed to flee and reported the locations of the others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief media.
He said Daesh militants were holding the remaining 19 people in containers on farmland and that clashes killed a soldier.
Daesh has been active in Libya in the turmoil since the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. The group took control of the coastal city of Sirte in 2015 but lost it late in 2016 to local forces backed by US airstrikes.

Security measures
Interior Minister in the Libyan Government of National Accord Fathi Bashaagha acknowledged on Sunday financial corruption in his ministry in Tripoli, while also calling for merging the militias that have been in the capital with the security forces, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.
The Interior Ministry, he said, is the “backbone of the state, which is why we would bring together all the armed groups under the ministry’s wing given the circumstances the country is enduring.”
The minister also said that he was preparing a plan to impose security in Tripoli and its suburbs and which he hopes to apply for the first half of 2019.


Libya protesters demand release of Qaddafi-era spy chief

Former Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi (L), dressed in prison blues, sits along with other defendants behind the bars of the accused cell during a hearing as part of his trial in a courthouse in Tripoli on December 28, 2014. (AFP)
Updated 25 March 2019
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Libya protesters demand release of Qaddafi-era spy chief

  • Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he had fled after Qaddafi’s fall
  • Al-Islam was captured and imprisoned by an armed group in the northwestern city of Zintan and sentenced by a Tripoli court in absentia

TRIPOLI: Relatives and supporters of Libya’s Qaddafi-era intelligence chief, jailed for his alleged role in a bloody crackdown during the country’s 2011 uprising, protested in Tripoli on Saturday to demand his release.
Abdullah Al-Senussi, a brother-in-law of longtime dictator Muamar Qaddafi, was sentenced to death in 2015 over the part he allegedly played in the regime’s response to a NATO-backed uprising in 2011 toppled and killed Qaddafi.
Eight others close to Qaddafi, including the Libyan leader’s son, Seif Al-Islam, also received death sentences following a trial condemned by the UN as “seriously” flawed.
Several dozen relatives and members of Senussi’s tribe, the Magerha, gathered in a central Tripoli square to demand he be freed over health concerns.
“The law and medical reports support our legitimate demand,” said one protester, Mohamad Amer.
Officials have not released specific details on his alleged health problems.
In a statement, the Magerha said his liberation would “contribute to and consolidate national reconciliation” in a country torn apart by intercommunal conflicts since Qaddafi’s fall.
The unusual protest comes just over a month after the release on health grounds of Abuzeid Dorda, Qaddafi’s head of foreign intelligence who was sentenced at the same time as Senussi.
The protesters held up photos of Senussi behind bars and placards reading “Freedom to prisoners. Yes to national reconciliation.”
Senussi was extradited in September 2012 by Mauritania, where he had fled after Qaddafi’s fall.
Like the dictator’s son, he had also been the subject of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for suspected war crimes during the 2011 uprising.
But in an unusual move, in 2013 the court gave Libyan authorities the green light to put him on trial.
He has since been detained in the capital, along with some 40 other senior Qaddafi-era officials including the dictator’s last prime minister Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi.
Al-Islam was captured and imprisoned by an armed group in the northwestern city of Zintan and sentenced by a Tripoli court in absentia.
The group announced his release in 2017 but it was never confirmed and his fate remains unknown.