Libya strongman’s chief of staff survives car bombing: military

File photo showing Libya’s Army chief of staff Abdul Razek Al-Nazuri inspects an honor guard as he attends the graduation of a new batch of armed forces cadets at the military academy in eastern Benghazi on Dec 18, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 18 April 2018
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Libya strongman’s chief of staff survives car bombing: military

  • General Al-Nadhuri accuses “terrorist cells” of being behind his attempted assassination
  • The Libyan army chief of staff, his bodyguards, and those traveling with him were unharmed

BENGHAZI: Libyan military strongman Khalifa Haftar’s chief of staff on Wednesday survived a car bombing in the eastern city of Benghazi, according to his self-styled Libyan National Army.
General Abdelrazak Al-Nadhuri “escaped unharmed from a terrorist assassination attempt after a car bomb exploded... as his convoy passed,” the LNA said in a statement.
The explosion took place in the Sidi Khalifa district at the eastern entrance to Benghazi, the statement said.
One civilian was killed in the attack and another was wounded, a spokesman for Benghazi’s Al-Jala hospital told AFP.
Nadhuri’s spokesman Malek Al-Sharif told AFP that the chief of staff, his bodyguards and those traveling with him were unharmed.
Nadhuri later accused “terrorist cells” of being behind the attempted assassination.
“This cowardly terrorist act comes after the defeat of these terrorist groups in Benghazi,” he told the Al-Hadath news outlet.
A security official in Benghazi, Majdi Al-Orfi, told AFP that the two victims, a Syrian and a Sudanese national, were caught in the explosion. The Syrian died.
The attack comes amid a wave of rumors about the health of Haftar, who supports an administration based in the far east of Libya. He was in hospital in Paris last week after falling ill during a trip abroad.
The strongman has not many any public appearances in the past two weeks and social media has been abuzz with rumors.
After several denials, the LNA acknowledged Friday that Haftar had been hospitalized but was “in good health.”
Libya has been gripped by chaos since a NATO-backed uprising toppled and killed longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, with rival administrations and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.
Last summer, Hafter announced the “total liberation” of Benghazi, after a three-year campaign to seize the city from , militant extremists who had made it a stronghold following the revolution.
Haftar supports a parliament based in the east of the country, while a UN-backed unity government in the capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority nationwide, with Daesh group remain active in central and southern Libya despite being forced out of their northern stronghold Sirte in 2016.


Palestinian president ‘against’ possible new Netanyahu government

Updated 20 min 10 sec ago

Palestinian president ‘against’ possible new Netanyahu government

OSLO: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Wednesday he would be against a new Israeli government led by Benjamin Netanyahu, after elections left him tied with his main challenger and raised the prospect of negotiations to build a unity government.
“Our position: against Netanyahu,” Abbas said during a visit to Oslo when questioned over his preferences for a new Israeli government.