Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

The clashes between the fighters have killed hundreds of militants lately and displaced thousands of civilians. (File/AFP)
Updated 27 June 2019
0

Libya’s UN-backed government reclaims key town near Tripoli

  • The army freed Gharyan town from Haftar’s forces
  • The town was a key supply route for the LNA militia

CAIRO: Libya’s UN-backed government says it has taken back a strategic town near Tripoli from a Libyan commander whose forces have been fighting for the past three months to capture the country’s capital.
The Tripoli-based government released a statement late on Wednesday, saying their militias have retaken Gharyan and vowing to pursue its liberation campaign until the “aggressors are purged from all areas.”
The self-styled Libyan National Army of commander Khalifa Haftar launched a push on Tripoli in April, claiming it seeks to free the city of radical militias.
Gharyan, about 100 kilometers from Tripoli, was a key supply route for Haftar’s forces.
Haftar’s offensive against Tripoli has been widely criticized. So far, hundreds have been killed, mainly combatants but also civilians, and thousands have been displaced.


Stena Impero operator says tanker’s crew safe and well

Updated 21 min 4 sec ago
0

Stena Impero operator says tanker’s crew safe and well

  • ‘... they’re all okay and in good health and they’re getting good cooperation with the Iranians on board the vessel’

STOCKHOLM: All 23 crew on a British-flagged tanker seized last week by Iran in the Strait of Hormuz are safe and well, the vessel’s Swedish operator Stena Bulk said on Wednesday after speaking to them.

Iran said on Saturday it had seized the Stena Impero because it had collided with a fishing boat. Stena Bulk has said it has received no evidence of such a collision.

“We had direct contact with the crew on board the vessel last night by telephone and they’re all okay and in good health and they’re getting good cooperation with the Iranians on board,” the firm’s spokesman Pat Adamson said.

Its CEO Erik Hanell said he hoped Tuesday’s contact was “a first sign that we will soon see more positive progress from the Iranian authorities.”

Britain described the seizure as piracy and called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait, a strategic waterway for oil transportation.

Adamson said the next step for the operator would be to try and get somebody on board to check up on the crew, but that he had no timeline for when the crew might be repatriated.

“We haven’t had any direct response from the Iranian authorities about visiting the vessel as yet but we hope we will have that soon,” he said.

“All the appropriate governments and embassies are supporting and helping us.”