TRIPOLI, Libya — Libya’s official news agency is reporting that a government-affiliated militia group has arrested 10 members of a suspected “terrorist cell” accused of involvement in assassinations and bombings in the eastern city of Benghazi.
LANA quoted Col. Abdullah al-Zaidi, spokesman for a security body of former rebels known as the Joint Operation Room, as saying on Tuesday that the Libya Martyrs militia captured seven Libyans and three Chadians as they were trying to carry out an armed robbery in a suburb. Al-Zaidi didn’t provide further details.
Former rebels themselves have been blamed for many acts of violence in Benghazi, and activists on social networking sites were skeptical of the announcement.
The arrest came a day before Libya marks the second anniversary of the end of its eight-month civil war.
BRUSSELS — NATO says it is setting up a small team of experts to advise Libya in building the country’s defense institutions.
Carmen Romero, a spokeswoman for the defense alliance, said ambassadors from NATO’s 28 member countries on Monday granted the request first made by Libyan authorities in May.
She says the team won’t have a permanent base in Libya but will operate from Brussels and comprise “no more than 10 people.”
Libya has been in turmoil since the end of a civil war that ousted and killed longtime dictatorMoammar Gadhafi in 2011, with the new security forces still struggling to assert their control over the vast, mostly barren North African country.
They confirmed in an interview with AP correspondent, which conducted their own investigation, their responsibility for the attack, which dubbed as “accident”.
Guta Syrian Rebels in the suburb of Damascus, have declared to the journalist for Associated Press‘ , Dale Gavlak, that they were responsible for chemical weapons accident August 21 Western countries attributed to theGovernment of Bashar Al-Assad. The rebels said the chemical weapons accident was caused by the mishandling of chemical weapons that provides Saudi Arabia.
“In numerous interviews with doctors, residents in Guta, the rebels and their families […] many believe that certain rebels received chemical weapons Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and that the rebels were responsible for carrying out the gas attack [fatal] “writes Gavlak.
The rebels told Gavlak who were not properly trained on how to handle chemical weapons or even that they had been told were chemical weapons. According to the testimony of the rebels, the arms were destined for Facing Nursa, sharp group Al Qaeda.
At the same time, dozens of rebels Gavlak confirmed that the Saudi government funded.
The information obtained by Dale Gavlak contradicts the excuses completely by aerated U.S., which on Friday referred to the “high confidence” you deserve the evidence it claims to have in his possession and claims-involving-Assad in the chemical attack.
Dale Gavlak was Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press’ over two decades. He has also worked for National Public Radio (NPR) in the U.S. and has written articles for the ‘BBC’.
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TRIPOLI, Libya — A Libyan military spokesman says more than 150 gunmen have attacked an air base in the country’s southern desert, killing two government troops.
Saad al-Orfi says the attack early Saturday targeted a military air base about 45 kilometers (30 miles) north of the city of Sabha. He says the assailants were heavily armed and clashed with government forces stationed at the base.
A colonel and a soldier were killed in the fighting, and two more troops were also wounded.
Al-Orfi identified the assailants as Libyan but said an investigation is underway to determine who they were.
Two years after the country’s civil war, Libya’s weak central government is still grappling with powerful militias as it struggles to create a new police and army.
Libya said Saturday that it had suspended work at its embassy in Cairo, a move that comes days after demonstrators burned a Libyan flag at its gate to protest the death of an Egyptian Christian imprisoned there.
The embassy’s decision to suspend consular services affects thousands of Egyptians working in neighbouring Libya who rely on the embassy to provide permits. The embassy’s brief statement said it had suspended operations indefinitely, but did not say why.
Tensions flared following the death of a Coptic Christian from Egypt who was detained in Libya on suspicion that he was spreading Christianity in the Muslim nation. Egypt’s Foreign Ministry said the man, Ezzat Atallah, likely died of natural causes, but his family alleges he was tortured to death.
Two other detainees, who are among an estimated 50 Egyptian Christians detained in Libya on suspicion of proselytizing, told The Associated Press in interviews after their release that they were tortured in a detention center run by a powerful militia in eastern Libya.
The two said they were rounded up in a market by gunmen who checked their right wrists for tattoos of crosses. They said that during four days of detention they were flogged, forced to take off their clothes in cold weather and stand at 3 a.m. outdoors on a floor covered with stones.
Libya’s government relies on militias to serve as security forces since its police and military remain in shambles following the 2011 civil war that ousted Moammar Gadhafi from power.
Egypt’s foreign ministry said that its embassy in Libya was investigating the allegations of torture.
Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians are working construction and trade jobs in Libya, a nation of 6.5 Muslims with no significant religious minority. Hundreds are believed to have been killed in crossfire during the civil war and many others have lost their jobs.
On Saturday, Egypt’s main opposition National Salvation Front issued a statement calling on Egyptian PresidentMohammed Morsi to do more to address the alleged mistreatment of Egyptian Christians in Libya. The group condemned the deportation of dozens of Egyptians from Libya in recent weeks, and said that the Islamist president must do more to defend the rights of Egyptian Christians there.
The opposition group accused Morsi, who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group, of reneging on promises to improve the status of the mostly poor migrant Egyptian workers living abroad.
“The presidency and government moved urgently and sent a high-level delegation to the United Arab Emirates to demand the release of detainees accused of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood weeks ago, but has neglected to address the situation of Egyptians who have been assaulted in Libya,” the opposition group said.