UN agency says Libya floods kill 4, displace more than 2,500

Libyan police drive through a flooded road, caused by heavy rain, in the capital Tripoli on Nov. 6, 2015. (AFP)
Updated 07 June 2019

UN agency says Libya floods kill 4, displace more than 2,500

  • The UNHCR says that the rains began on May 28 in the town of Ghat, 1,300 kilometers from Tripoli
  • The statement says 30 people have been injured

CAIRO: The UN refugee agency says heavy rains have triggered severe flooding in southwestern Libya since late May, killing four people and forcing more than 2,500 to flee their homes.
The UNHCR says in a statement released on Friday that the rains began on May 28 in the town of Ghat. The town is located some 1,300 kilometers, or about 800 miles, from the capital of Tripoli.
The statement says 30 people have been injured. The flooding has also damaged and blocked main roads and flooded Ghat’s only hospital that serves the town’s 20,000 inhabitants.
The UNHCR has sent a relief convoy with tents, mattresses, blankets and other needed items that’s expected to arrive in Ghat later in the day. It says the shipment will assist 400 families.


Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

Updated 13 November 2019

Turkish police arrest journalist Altan a week after his release

  • Altan and the others deny the charges against them
  • On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing

ISTANBUL: Turkish police detained prominent journalist and author Ahmet Altan late on Tuesday, a week after he was released from prison in his retrial on coup-related charges, Istanbul police said.

Before his release last Monday, the 69-year-old had been in jail since his arrest in 2016, two months after an attempted coup which Ankara says was orchestrated by the network of US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.

The journalist’s case has drawn criticism from human rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies. They are concerned by the scale of a post-coup crackdown against suspected Gulen supporters under President Tayyip Erdogan.

Altan smiled and waved as he was driven away by counter-terror squad police officers after being taken from his home in Istanbul, video and photos published by Turkish media showed.

He was taken to Istanbul police headquarters after a hospital check-up, state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.

Altan, his brother and other journalists were previously sentenced to life in jail for aiding Gulen’s network. Last week he was convicted again in a retrial, but released from jail given the time served.

Altan and the others deny the charges against them.

On Tuesday a higher court overruled the decision to release Altan, ordering his arrest on grounds that there was a risk of him fleeing, Anadolu reported.

Under last week’s verdict, Altan was sentenced to 10 years and six months in jail. Turkey’s high court had overruled the previous life sentences against him in July, sending the file back for re-trial.

Erdogan’s government has jailed more than 77,000 people pending trial since the failed putsch. Widespread arrests are still routine in a crackdown critics say demonstrates growing autocracy in Turkey.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, and his followers deny any involvement in the coup. Turkey has repeatedly called on the United States to extradite the cleric.