Car bomb attack in Benghazi leaves seven dead, 20 wounded

Car bomb attack in Benghazi leaves seven dead, 20 wounded
A historic building that was destroyed during a three-year conflict is seen in Benghazi, Libya, on February 28, 2018. A car bomb explodsion on a busy street in the center of Benghazi on Thursday night killed at least seven people. (REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori/File Photo)
Updated 25 May 2018

Car bomb attack in Benghazi leaves seven dead, 20 wounded

Car bomb attack in Benghazi leaves seven dead, 20 wounded
  • The bomb exploded behind the Tibesti hotel, the city’s biggest, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, on a street where people were taking a stroll after a day of fasting until sunset in the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
  • Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, is controlled by the Libyan National Army (LNA), the dominant force in eastern Libya led by commander Khalifa Haftar.

BENGHAZI: At least seven people were killed and around 20 others injured late Thursday in a car bomb attack in the center of Benghazi in eastern Libya, a local security official told AFP.
The bomb exploded close to the Tibesti hotel on a busy road where many people go to celebrate during the month of Ramadan, the official said, adding that the victims were civilians.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but the Libyan official blamed the assault on “terrorist sleeper cells who want to send a message that Benghazi is not safe.”
Libya has been rocked by chaos since a 2011 uprising which toppled and killed Muammar Qaddafi, with two rival authorities and multiple militias vying for control of the oil-rich country.
Military strongman Khalifa Haftar in July announced the “total liberation” of Benghazi, three years after his forces launched a military operation to seize the city from militants who had made it a stronghold following the revolution.
But clashes and attacks in the city have continued, including against diplomatic facilities and security forces.
Almost 40 people were killed following a double car bomb attack in front of a mosque in January. In February, another attack left one person dead and nearly 150 wounded, also in front of a mosque Haftar supports a Parliament based in the far east of Libya, while a rival UN-backed unity government in the western capital Tripoli has struggled to assert its authority outside the west of the country.
Earlier this month Haftar returned to Benghazi after a two-week stint in a Paris hospital to launch a new anti-militant offensive.
Presenting himself as the scourge of militancy, he announced the start of a military campaign to retake the eastern city of Derna from jihadists.
The city is the only part of eastern Libya to remain out of the control of Haftar’s Libyan National Army, which has the backing of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
 


Lebanon indicts 8 retired military figures over alleged graft

Updated 7 min 27 sec ago

Lebanon indicts 8 retired military figures over alleged graft

Lebanon indicts 8 retired military figures over alleged graft
  • Those accused of graft include former army chief Jean Kahwaji, who held the post from 2008 to 2017, and several former military intelligence chiefs
  • The under-fire ruling class has repeatedly pledged to root out graft, and this year the parliament passed a new law to combat ‘illicit enrichment’

BEIRUT: A Lebanese prosecutor Wednesday indicted eight retired military figures including a former army chief over “illicit enrichment,” a judicial source said, in a first under a new anti-graft law.
Popular anger has grown in the past year over alleged corruption among the political elite in Lebanon, where a dire economic crisis has pushed the poverty rate up to more than half the population.
Since mass protests erupted in October 2019, the under-fire ruling class has repeatedly pledged to root out graft, and this year the parliament passed a new law to combat illicit enrichment.
But critics have expressed little trust in a system they say is riddled with nepotism.
Those accused of graft on Wednesday included former army chief Jean Kahwaji, who held the post from 2008 to 2017, and several former military intelligence chiefs, the judicial source said.
The Beirut state prosecutor launched proceedings over their alleged “illicit enrichment, and using their official positions to reap vast wealth,” the source said.
A preliminary investigation showed a lack of correlation between their wealth and their income, the source said, adding that they would be questioned on December 10.
The official National News Agency said it was the first time such indictments were made since the law was passed.
It also made mention of a bank that several years ago had allegedly allowed Kahwaji and members of his family to deposit sums of up to $1.2 million in their accounts, without justification as to the origin of the funds.