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
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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.


Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda throws weight behind vote frontrunner

Updated 21 September 2019

Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda throws weight behind vote frontrunner

  • Karoui came second with 15.6 percent
  • The result was a major upset for Tunisia’s political establishment

TUNIS: Tunisia’s influential Islamist-inspired party Ennahda said on Friday it will support law professor and political outsider Kais Saied in a presidential runoff against jailed media magnate Nabil Karoui.

“Ennahda has chosen to support the people’s choice,” party spokesman Imed Khemiri told AFP after last Sunday’s first round of polling in which Saied finished ahead with 18.4 percent of the vote.

The surprise result of the election, contested by more than 20 candidates, thrust to the fore both Saied and Karoui, likewise from outside the world of traditional Tunisian politics.

Karoui came second with 15.6 percent, said the electoral commission ISIE, while Ennahda, a main force in Parliament, scored 12.9 percent with its first-ever candidate to run for the presidency, Abdelfattah Mourou.

The result was a major upset for Tunisia’s political establishment, in place since the fall of late leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali eight years ago after mass protests that sparked the Arab Spring revolts.

HIGHLIGHT

The surprise result of the election, contested by more than 20 candidates, thrust to the fore both Saied and Karoui, likewise from outside the world of traditional Tunisian politics.

Saied, a fiercely independent academic aged 61, advocates a radical decentralization of power, with local democracy and the ability to remove elected officials from office during their mandates.

He is also perceived as very conservative on social issues, and has defended the death penalty, criminalization of homosexuality and a sexual assault law that punishes unmarried couples who engage in public displays of affection.

Karoui, a 56-year-old media magnate, has been held in prison since Aug. 23 under investigation for alleged money laundering.

He remains eligible to run as long as any conviction does not also specifically deprive him of his civil rights, according to ISIE.

Karoui has in recent years used his popular television channel Nessma to launch high-profile charity campaigns, often appearing in designer suits as he criss-crosses the country to meet with some of its poorest.