Four killed as car bomb targets funeral in Libya’s Benghazi

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Damaged cars are seen at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
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People gather at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
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The wreckage of a car is seen at the site where a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander at Huwari cemetery in Benghazi, Libya July 11, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 11 July 2019

Four killed as car bomb targets funeral in Libya’s Benghazi

  • The funeral at Benghazi's Huwari cemetery was for Khalifa Mismari, the assistant commander of Libya's special forces under former leader Muammar Gaddafi
  • The special forces have become a key unit aligned with Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls eastern Libya

BENGHAZI: At least four people were killed and 33 wounded when a car bomb hit a funeral of a former senior military commander in the east Libyan city of Benghazi, a spokesman for the eastern administration’s interior ministry said.
The funeral at Benghazi's Huwari cemetery was for Khalifa Mismari, the assistant commander of Libya's special forces under former leader Muammar Gaddafi, who was toppled in 2011, a military source said.
A witness saw two burned out cars at the scene of the blast.
According to the military source, the current head of the special forces, Wanis Bukhamada, was attending the funeral but was unharmed.

Libyan National Army's spokesman General Ahmad Al-Mesmari accused the Prime Minister of Libya's Tripoli-based government Fayez Al-Sarraj of funding terrorism in Benghazi and said that he has become the political face of terrorist groups.

At a press conference that took place on Thursday, Al-Mesmari said the Libyan National Army does not differentiate between extremist organizations in Tripoli, Al-Qaeda, and Daesh, and that all Libyans should support the LNA's armed forces in every way.  
Since 2014, Libya has been divided between rival political and military factions based in Tripoli and the eastern part of the country.
The special forces have become a key unit aligned with Khalifa Haftar, the military commander who controls eastern Libya.
Since early April, Haftar has been waging an offensive to try to take the capital Tripoli, in the west of the country, though his campaign has stalled.


Bangladeshi migrants to be repatriated from Libya

Updated 14 November 2019

Bangladeshi migrants to be repatriated from Libya

DHAKA: One hundred and seventy-one Bangladeshi migrants are waiting to be repatriated from two detention centers in Libya after being rescued from the Mediterranean coast on Oct. 30 as they tried to make their way into Europe, officials told Arab News on Wednesday. 

In all, 200 migrants were rescued during the operation.

“The registration process of all the Bangladeshi migrants has been completed and we are expecting to start the repatriation by the end of November,” ASM Ashraful Islam, councilor at the Bangladesh embassy in Libya, said.

He added that, due to the ongoing war in Libya, airports in Tripoli remain non-operational. The Bangladeshi migrants will fly from Misrata airport, 300 kilometers away.

“There are frequent incidents of bombardment and long-range missile strikes (at Tripoli airport),” Islam explained. He said no international airline was currently willing to fly from Libya to Bangladesh, so the embassy intends to charter a flight to repatriate the migrants.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will bear the expenses for the rescued Bangladeshis, who are currently being held at detention centers in Zanzur and Abu Salim, he said, adding, “Bangladesh mission staffers in Tripoli are in constant touch with the returnees and providing necessary food and other assistance for them.”

In recent years, human traffickers have used Libya as a gateway through which to send illegal migrants to Italy and other European countries. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency — Frontex — around 30,000 Bangladeshi migrants have been arrested while trying to enter Europe in the last decade. The organization said that, in recent years, Bangladesh is one of the countries from which the most illegal migrants have tried to enter Europe. The IOM has facilitated the repatriation of Bangladeshi citizens from Libya in the past — 924 in 2017, 307 in 2016, and 521 in 2015.

“Among unemployed Bangladeshi fortune seekers, there is a (desire) to migrate to Europe by any means, and human-trafficking syndicates at home and abroad (have grabbed) this opportunity,” Shariful Hasan, head of the migration program at the Bangladesh-based development organization BRAC, told Arab News. “There needs to be an integrated effort by all concerned countries, with the support of Interpol, to curb this human trafficking.”